Many seniors wonder if Medicare provides coverage for funeral expenses. Well, certain Medicare Policies can offer funds that will be applicable to funeral expenses.
When planning a funeral, costs can add up quickly.
Even though many charges are basic, some costs the family incurs through unnecessary spending. It’s common for people experiencing loss to overstretch themselves financially to achieve a sense of finality.
Some people feel the love they have for someone directly correlates with the amount they spend on the funeral. This causes them to spend more than necessary.
In a bid to alleviate their spouse and children of these difficult decisions, pre-planning of funeral expenses has become the order of the day. This is where Medicare Coverage for funeral expenses plays a part.
This content highlights Social Security coverage for funeral expenses and how to apply for Social Security Death benefits.
Understanding Medicare Coverage for Funeral Expenses
Medicare doesn’t cover burial expenses after a beneficiary passes away. This also applies to a beneficiary with a Medicare Medical Savings Account (MSA).
A Medicare Medical Savings Account plan is a high-deductible Medicare plan that covers the costs of medical expenses. Funeral expenses aren’t medical expenses; you can’t use an MSA to cover a funeral.
The Social Security Administration does pay survivor benefits to cover funeral costs. This death benefit is done a one-time payment to the living spouse or child.
Eligibility and benefit sum correlate with Social Security taxes.
Applying for Social Security Death Benefits
SS death benefits pay the surviving spouse or children. Typically, the one who dies needs to have tax history for ten or more years; or, is 65 years of age and above to qualify.
Funds go to the surviving spouse or children who are eligible. The surviving spouse or children are paid a small sum to assist in expenses.
Death Benefit Coverage
Typically, Medicare death benefits don’t cover funeral expenses. However, the SSA funds can support part of the funeral expenses. This applies to individuals aged 65 and over.
You can’t complete the application for a death online. The process can only be done by visiting the closest SSA office.
Eligibility for SS Death Benefits
For a living family member or spouse to be eligible for death benefits there are certain things to consider.
To be eligible for Death benefits, the following criteria must be met:
– The spouse must be 60 years of age and older
– A physically challenged spouse aged 50 and above
– Children must be under 18 years of age
– A spouse acting as a caregiver for handicap child or a child under the age of 16
– Deceased child who has a disability that started before 22 years of age
Everyone wants to avoid Medicare and funeral expenses; however, that’s unavoidable.
Document Requirements to Apply for SS Death Benefits
If a Medicare beneficiary dies, there are certain documents that the living family must provide before they can claim benefits.
These documents may include:
– Certified evidence of death
– Proof of birth
– U.S Citizenship or lawful immigrant alien status
– W-2 forms or tax returns for the past year
– U.S military discharge documents
When you have all the documents together, then apply for death benefits. If you have everything together, the process will be easier.
Completing the Paperwork for Death Benefits
There’s documentation for the living family or spouse of the Medicare beneficiary to complete before payment is made. Before compensation is initiated, the spouses or children of the deceased must complete some information.
Documentation that may include:
– The name of the deceased
– The gender of the deceased
– The social security number of the deceased
– The time and place of death
– The record of Social Security benefits if there’s any
– Details about the deceased spouse or children
-The deceased earnings as of the time of death and the year earlier
– Whether the deceased was a former military officer
– The documents showing the deceased account number or credit union.
How to Report a Medicare Beneficiary’s Death
Reporting a Medicare beneficiary’s death is a direct process. If your family member is a Medicare beneficiary, report their death to relevant authorities.
You can go about this process by contacting Social Security. If the Medicare beneficiary or was under a Medicare plan by an insurer, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services won’t notify the plan.
Once Medicare acknowledges the death, a beneficiary will no longer have coverage the first day of the following month.
Medicare doesn’t cover funeral expenses; however, social security can provide benefits in certain situations.
Updated: May 16, 2019