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Taking Care of Mom and Dad: What Benefits Are Not Covered

All services required for treatment of a terminal illness must be provided by or through the hospice. When a Medicare beneficiary chooses hospice care, Medicare will not pay for:

  • Treatment for the terminal illness that is not for symptom management and pain control;
  • Care given by another health care provider that was not arranged for by the patient's hospice; and
  • Care from another provider that duplicates care the hospice is required to provide.

To determine whether a Medicare-approved hospice program is available in your parents' area, contact the nearest Social Security Administration office, their state or local health department or their state hospice organization. You can always surf the Medicare Web site for more information at www.medicare.gov. The site can provide you with useful links to local information and departments.

Hospice provides continuing contact and support for caregivers for at least a year following the death of a loved one. Most hospices also sponsor bereavement groups and support for anyone who feels the need.

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