Palliative care costs are normally covered by Medicare. Private health insurance may also be an option. However, this may not always be the case. It is important to find out as soon as possible who pays for what. You can ask your doctor and health care team:
- Do I have to pay to see the palliative care team?
- Will I have to pay if they visit me in my own home?
- Will I have to pay for any treatments such as pain relief medications?
Sometimes there will be other costs depending on where care is There may be costs attached to services being provided in your home or in the community. There may be limits to length of stay in hospital or hospice. This may depend on the health insurance policy and the hospital. If you are not sure about what is covered, talk to your health care provider.
Your illness may affect your ability to continue working. This may mean changes to household income. Your role in the family finances may change.
Your private health fund may include cover for home nursing. This may be part of your hospital cover. This means that you can be treated by a nursing service as a private patient.
Domiciliary Care and Home Care groups can sometimes provide equipment. They may also provide care support in the home, and fees may apply. If equipment is not available, they can recommend private hire agencies at reasonable rates. Some health funds may also cover some of this cost.
If you need an ambulance, it will cost money in some states, but not in others. Don’t be afraid to ask about the cost of these services. It is better to know in advance than receive an unexpected bill. Ambulance cover is available in some states and may be an option.
More information on seeking help and advice is available in the CareSearch financial resources page. Ask for information on Superannuation and Insurances if you are uncertain about accessing these funds.
Your carer may be eligible for a Carer Payment. This is provided to someone who is caring full time. This is because they are unable to work or seek employment.
Carer Allowance may be an option. This is provided when a person is providing full time care to someone with a severe medical condition.
Eligibility for both payments needs an assessment by a doctor or a nurse. Social workers can help with this. More information on government payments is available from Centrelink.