In order to be eligible for Medicare hospice benefits, the patient seeking benefits must be eligible for Medicare Part A coverage. The person's personal care physician must also certify that the patient is terminally ill.
Patients must have six months or less to live according to doctor certification, as well as under palliative care rather than seeking a medical or surgical cure for the terminal illness. The patient is also required to sign a statement indicating that he chooses hospice care rather than standard treatments that are covered by Medicare. Once the patient chooses hospice, Medicare no longer covers standard treatments.