If I choose hospice care, will my insurance cover it?
Hospice care is generally covered by most private insurance plans and information about a plan’s hospice benefits should be available through an individual’s employer or insurance provider.
What is Medicare and what about Medicare coverage at end of life?
Medicare is a federally-funded health insurance program for people age 65 or older, people under age 65 who have received social security disability benefits for two years, and people of all ages with end stage renal disease. Medicare Part A provides coverage for the caring aspects of classic hospice treatment. Some of those services for patients who meet criteria include:
- Physician assistance
- Intermittent nursing care with 24 hour call services
- Medical appliances and supplies related to the terminal illness
- Outpatient drugs for symptom management and pain relief
- Short-term acute hospitalization when needed
- Home health aide assistance
- Medical social services
- Spiritual counseling
For more detailed information about Medicare (and Medicaid) go to: www.gomedicare.com.
How does Medicaid differ from Medicare and can Medicaid be of service?
Medicaid is a joint federal-state program created to help those who fall into eligibility categories “pay for some or all of their medical bills,” typically helping people who have little or no medical insurance. “Long Term Care Medicaid” pays the costs of nursing homes for those who are eligible.
Who is Eligible for Medicaid in North Carolina?
To qualify for Medicaid coverage in the state of North Carolina, an individual must:
- Be a U.S. citizen or provide proof of eligible immigration status
- Live in North Carolina and provide proof of residency
- Have a Social Security number or an application pending
- Meet income and reserve (asset) guidelines for the specific Medicaid program in question.
A person is automatically eligible for Medicaid if he or she gets any of these benefits:
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
- State or County Special Assistance if disabled or aged and reside in an assisted living facility or family care home
- Special Assistance to the Blind
- Work First Family Assistance (North Carolina’s Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Program).
The best way to apply for North Carolina Medicaid is to apply in person at the Department of Social Services office in the county where you live. (Note: Avery County Department of Social Services can be reached at (828) 733-8230 or by visiting www.averydss.com.) Ask for the income maintenance supervisor or lead worker.
If you can’t apply for Medicaid in person, you can print, complete and mail an application to your local Social Services office—or have a relative apply for you. You can also call the office and have a blank application mailed or request a home visit.