Medicaid Hospice Services

Most people still get confused about Medicaid and Medicare. Both are federally funded government programs that offer support to Americans who need support. Medicare is a privilege program, mainly intended for senior citizens who have paid for their Medicare benefits beforehand. Medicaid benefits and eligibility are based on income levels of people who apply for it. They must show that they are below the low income level set by the state which determines the qualification criteria for Medicaid. A senior citizen with Medicare can become eligible for Medicaid as long as he or she meets the conditions for qualification, but a person who is receiving Medicaid benefits does not automatically qualify for Medicare, since they may not be part of the senior citizen age group.

A good majority of individuals who have Medicare or Medicaid frequently ask if hospice care is covered by these government programs. Although there are still a lot of them who do not want to face the fact that they may need hospice care since for many, hospice care is for people who are near death and cannot do anything or take care of themselves. While this is partly true, many individuals who are taken into or given hospice care can still be quite full of life.

A person’s family typically has fewer things to worry about when he or she is taken into hospice services. Qualified nurses and health professionals do the tasks usually done by family members like giving medicine, giving the patient a bath and pain management treatment. If any emergency happens, medical services are on hand 24-7. If there are special medical equipment needed such as oxygen tanks, heart monitoring apparatus, hospice services can assist in getting these for the patient.

Hospice services also comfort the patient and assist them in dealing with emotional and spiritual issues about death. Spiritual counselors and psychologists are included in hospice services and they also provide assistance to the patient’s family. In the event of a patient’s death, bereavement services and counseling are usually extended by numerous hospice services to the family.

Medicaid hospice services are covered in some states in the US, depending on the set guidelines by these individual states and since they generally determine how to distribute their Medicaid fund. There are other states  where hospice services is not awarded to people who have Medicaid only, but they can cater hospice services to those who are recipients of both  Medicaid and Medicare. A good majority of states consider hospice services as a non-essential treatment and this is one reason why they do not cover hospice or limit hospice services help if their budget is stretched.

A person must present evidence that he or she is terminally ill for them to become qualified for Medicaid hospice services. A doctor or physician may provide certification that the patient has only a few months to live, although they can’t accurately confirm the exact time, six months is a general rule. Medicaid hospice services can be given at the location where the patient is staying. This can be at a nursing home or at the own home of the patient or a relative.