Hospice in Medicare Advantage
About 1.5 million Medicare beneficiaries currently receive hospice care that covers palliative and support services. Hospice care is currently “carved out” of Medicare Advantage, meaning patients enrolled in Medicare Advantage plans who choose to receive hospice care must transition to Traditional Fee-for-Service (FFS) Medicare for coverage. A nationwide voluntary demonstration project now underway from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) would allow Medicare Advantage plans to offer hospice care in all 50 states as part of its benefit package beginning in coverage year 2021 and running through 2024.
Better Medicare Alliance strongly supports this demonstration project and has recently asked for a delay to ensure success for the project while Medicare Advantage plans remain focused on the immediate needs arising from COVID-19.