Monthly Archives

January 2013

How Hospice and Medicare supplements work together

By Making the Most of your Medicare One Comment

As parents age, sometimes Hospice care is necessary.  Hospice is defined as care designed to give supportive care to people in the final phase of a terminal illness and focus on comfort and quality of life, rather than cure. The goal is to enable patients to be comfortable and free of pain, so that they live each day as fully as possible. Children who are intervening with parents’ affairs are often confronted with keeping Medicare Supplement insurance while Hospice pays the majority of expenses, sometimes making the supplement unnecessary.  You should be aware that there are some expenses, like medical equipment and prescription drugs, that are not covered by Hospice.  These services are then covered 80/20 by Medicare and the supplement.  The risk you run is if you drop the supplement, you are then paying the 20% yourself. It is also not uncommon that a person is taken off Hospice….

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Medicare has Limits on Therapy

By Making the Most of your Medicare One Comment

Many people on Medicare do not realize that Medicare caps the amount of therapy a person is eligible for in a given year.  Here is a link for the official Medicare.gov document.  For 2013, Medicare will only approve: $1,900/year for physical therapy and speech therapy $1,900/year for occupational therapy Those are separate figures, meaning you could receive a total of $3,800 worth of services per year. It is important to remember that this is the amount Medicare approves.  Medicare will only cover 80% of this amount.  If you have a supplement, it would pick up the 20% balance.  Because Medicare does not approve services above the $1,900 amount, any therapy provided would be paid out of pocket by the recipient. This is not a new rule but is becoming more common as therapy is prescribed for a variety of illnesses.   Here are a few rules of thumb to keep…

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