Hospice and palliative care

A guide to understanding the options available to you and your loved ones.

If your health care needs or those of a loved one change, we’re here for you. Hospice and palliative care are provided to people with serious illnesses. Both types of care address individuals’ needs and their quality of life. Knowing your options is the first step to getting the right type of care.

Palliative care

Palliative care offers relief from symptoms and pain. Care is available for people of any age at any stage of severe illness. Curative treatment can also be provided. Palliative services offer relief from pain, stress and other symptoms.

Hospice care

Hospice aids those who are approaching the end of life. Services offer support and care for individuals in the final phase of terminal illnesses and focus on providing relief, rather than curative treatment.

Please contact your plan medical group or your primary care physician (PCP) to discuss care options. For more information on what’s covered under your benefits, please view your Member Handbook.

Advance care planning and advance health care directives

If you are too ill to express your wishes, a family member or caregiver may need to make those decisions for you. Advance care planning allows you and your loved ones to consider future care options and determine the actions that should be taken. This information is often shared with caregivers, family members and health care providers to ensure everyone involved with an individual’s care is kept up to date.

End-of-life care information is included in an advance health care directive, a legal document that goes into effect if someone is unable to communicate, is dying or is permanently unconscious. An advance directive can be added over time and as health care needs change.

The Conversation Project®

Learn how to begin a conversation with your loved ones and your care team about care through the end of life. Resources are available in English, Spanish, Chinese and more.


Caregiver and bereavement support

Behavioral health services can offer support through periods of grief, depression and stress. Services are available without a referral from your primary care provider.


Sharp Senior Resource Centers

Get important information about health screening options, classes, support groups, wellness checks and other helpful resources for older adults and caregivers.


How to notify Sharp Health Plan when a member has died

If a Sharp Health Plan member passes away, please let us know so that we can close out their benefits.


Frequently asked questions

Who is eligible for hospice services?

Hospice services are covered for members who have been diagnosed with a terminal illness and have a life expectancy of 12 months or less, and who elect hospice care instead of restorative services covered by Sharp Health Plan.

How will I pay for hospice?

Hospice care is a covered benefit for all Sharp Health Plan members. To learn more about the services that are covered by Sharp Health Plan, please review your Member Handbook.

What services are covered under hospice?

Below is a list of services that are covered when reasonable and necessary for management of terminal illness and related conditions. Please review the Member Handbook for additional details.

  • Bereavement services
  • Counseling and social services provided by a qualified social worker
  • Dietary counseling
  • Drugs
  • Home health aide, skilled nursing and other services
  • Nursing care
  • Pharmaceuticals, medical equipment and supplies
  • Physical, occupational and speech therapy
  • Physician services

Why am I receiving information addressed to my loved one after their passing?

We offer our deepest condolences. You may continue to receive communications addressed to your loved one, until your request to update their coverage is processed.

Why did my loved one receive a bill from Sharp Health Plan after their benefits were closed out?

A member could receive up to two premium bills after coverage ends. If you have questions about bills or billing statements, please contact the billing department at 858-499-8120 for more information.

Helpful articles

Exercise and colon cancer

How to help those coping with grief and loss

Grief is a natural — and necessary — healing process.

Exercise and colon cancer

Advice for caregivers

Caring for a loved one can be challenging. Here are some helpful reminders.