Medicare Provides Few Respite Coverage Options For Caregivers

There’s never a shortage of questions about Medicare, the federal health insurance program for people who are 65 or older and some who are disabled. Here are answers to two about respite care and the so-called doughnut hole that limits payments for drugs in Medicare Part D.

My 85-year-old husband has been diagnosed with anxiety and depression. He had a stroke last year and now spends most of his time in bed. His mind is failing and he’s frequently confused. Taking care of him is exhausting, but I’m concerned that unless the doctor gives him a diagnosis of dementia I can’t qualify for respite care. What are the criteria?

Coverage for caregivers to take a breather from caring for a loved one at home is spotty.

In general, traditional Medicare only pays for respite care if a patient has entered hospice. To be eligible, the doctor has to certify that the patient is terminally ill and expected to live for six months or less. The program pays for the Medicare beneficiary to be moved to a hospital or nursing home for up to five days at a time so the caregiver can get some rest.

– Health News Florida

Read the full article here.