Potential Fees and Expenses for Medical Aid in Dying
There is no fee on the part of the Academy for our referral service. But depending on the referral we make to a clinician who will evaluate your aid-in-dying request and potentially provide care, that clinician’s fees will differ. The type of referral the Academy provides will vary with each patient’s individual needs and circumstances.
PLEASE NOTE: Medicare does not provide any coverage for aid-in-dying care. Aid in dying is legal as a state program in 10 states plus Washington, DC, but Medicare is a federal program. For this and other reasons, Medicare does not cover any aid-in-dying services, nor the aid-in-dying medications. As well, most insurance policies do not cover medical aid in dying. You should, of course, check with your insurance company, but in our experience it is very difficult and uncommon to have coverage or receive reimbursement for costs related to aid in dying.
Hospice Care: If you are referred to a hospice that provides both the attending/prescribing physician and consulting/2nd-opinion doctor, the fees for these services are usually incorporated as part of that hospice’s care. This may vary with individual hospices, but in general there is no cost to the patient or family.
Independent Aid-in-Dying Clinicians: If you are referred by the Academy to an independent aid-in-dying clinician, those clinicians most commonly charge a fee for their services. Please understand that doctors who support medical aid in dying patients put in extensive time and effort in doing this, and they must charge appropriate fees for this work. The amount varies, and should be discussed with each clinician.
PLEASE NOTE: Patients with extreme hardship in meeting the above fees should feel free to discuss this with their participating clinicians. Our goal is that no patient should be denied treatment because of true medical indigence. HOWEVER: This is not intended for families with financial means to ask for “discounts” for the significant care provided by these clincians. Families, not health care workers, are expected to pay for the health care of their loved ones. Many clinicians have sliding scales for truly indigent and homeless patients, but this does not apply to families who prefer to pay less for any other reason, including “our parent likes to feel independent.” Our clinicians offer a significant amount of care without fees or with discounted fees — but their abilities to do this are limited. If your family is not truly indigent, please do not bargain with your clinician or ask for pro-bono work. That will deny aid-in-dying services to others who are much less well off. Thank you for your understanding.