Paying for Palliative Care

Who Pays For Palliative Care?

There are a variety of payment sources for palliative care. In general, palliative care services are covered by usual forms of payment for medical services. Some palliative care services may be covered by:

  • Medicare
  • Medical Assistance
  • MinnesotaCare
  • Private insurance or managed care programs

Medicare
If you have Medicare Part B (medical insurance), it may cover some palliative care treatments and medications including visits from doctors, nurse practitioners and social workers. Medicare does not use the term palliative, so coverage is provided by standard Medicare Part B benefits. The palliative care provider will bill Medicare for services provided. It is important to understand what copayments or fees, if any, you will be asked to pay.

Medical Assistance and MinnesotaCare
If you are covered by Medical Assistance or MinnesotaCare, palliative care treatments and medications may be included. Be sure you know what copayments or fees, if any, you will be asked to pay, and ask about your responsibility for fees and request a fee schedule before agreeing to receive services.

Private Insurance, HMOs, Managed Care Programs
Many private health insurance plans, managed care plans and HMOs provide some coverage for palliative care as part of their hospice or chronic care benefits. If you own a long-term care policy, there may be coverage for palliative care. Check with your health insurance or long-term care insurance representative.

To find out if there are palliative care services under your plan, call the member services phone number on the back of your health insurance card.