Medicare will only pay for respite care if your loved one has a life-threatening illness and qualifies for the hospice benefit. Respite means a rest and that’s what respite care allows the caregiver to take.

Under the Medicare hospice benefit, your loved one can get respite care in a Medicare-approved hospital or skilled nursing facility for up to five days at a time. Medicare will pay 95% of the Medicare-approved amount for respite care.