Discuss Your Plans With Them
When purchasing life insurance for parents, discuss the policy with them, including coverage amounts and who will pay the premiums. Explain that you are protecting your familys financial future by making sure you can pay for their final arrangements when the time comes. Once youve decided on how much coverage to take out and which insurance company to use, you can move on to the next step.
Survivors Benefits For Decedents Children From The Social Security Administration
Applicants for Burial Assistance should know that surviving children of decedents may be eligible for Survivors Benefits from the Social Security Administration under certain circumstances. The Social Security Administration may provide Survivors Benefits based upon the decedents work history to decedents unmarried children. Visit Survivors Benefits | SSA to learn more about these benefits and how to apply.
We are open to the public Monday-Fridays between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. If your needs cannot be met by ACCESS HRA, call 311 or consult the HRA Locations page for the latest information on center openings.
What Can Be Covered
OBS can pay up to a maximum amount of $1,700 under the current emergency rule towards the cost of a funeral bill for a decedent’s final disposition to the decedent’s relative, friend, Organizational Friend or authorized representative.
In the event, the funeral bill exceeds the current $3,400 cap under the emergency rule, the cost of the burial plot, grave opening or cremation will be deducted from the total bill and where the remaining bill amount is less than the above cap a burial allowance will be approved.
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What Is Medicaid And Who Is Eligible
Medicaid was founded by the United States government in 1965 as a financial assistance program for needy families and individuals, covering a portion or full medical expenses.
Although most basic medical therapies are covered in general, each state has the power to amend its norms and regulations.
Eligible people must be under the poverty line with all of their assets, which is vital to remember for subsequent assessment of funeral aid.
These groups are notably well-served among those who are typically deemed eligible:
- Pregnant women
- Low-income adults aged 65 or older
- Low-income parents of Medicaid-eligible children
- Disabled adults receiving Social Security Disability
Is this, however, a guarantee that everyones funeral expenses would be covered? Continue reading till the end to find out all the details.
Using The Medicaid Spend Down To Pre
Money, Death, and Medicaidtopics very few want to discuss.
When it comes to planning ahead for retirement, long-term care needs or death, I have come to learn that few families ever approach these topics. Most of our families come to us in crisis they have insufficient funds for retirement, no plan for their long-term care needs, and no information on funeral wishes.
Luckily, one tool used in Medicaid planning involves planning for funeral expenses. This compels many of our families to take care of their funeral planning while addressing their long-term care needs.
As you may know, a person applying for Nursing Home Medicaid can have no more than $2,000 in assets. Not all assets count towards this limit though a house, a car, retirement funds , and a pre-paid funeral plan are exempt and do not count towards the $2,000 limit.
Since $10,000 can be set aside for funeral expenses, we usually recommend that families create a pre-paid fund or contract with a funeral home.
In addition to the $10,000 fund, there are knockable items that can be purchased without jeopardizing Medicaid eligibility. These items include a single burial plot, gravesite, crypt, mausoleum, casket, urn, niche or other containers used to hold the deceased body as well as vaults, headstones, markers or plaques, burial containers and the opening and closing of the gravesite.
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Burial Assistance And Covid
To address the unprecedented impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic, DSS/HRA issued an emergency rule:
- Increasing the burial allowance from $900 to $1,700 and increasing the cap on burial costs from $1,700 to $3,400.
- Extending the timeframe for when you can apply to 120 days from the date of the individual’s death.
Applications received on or after March 12, 2020 will be considered for the increased burial assistance allowance. All applications received will be reviewed regardless of immigration status.
New: View the Burial Assistance Frequently Asked Questions in:
Ways To Help Cover The Cost Of Your Funeral
We have six ways to help you cover your final bill. We think some are better than others, but each one has its benefits, and depending on our circumstances, it could be the right fit for you.
Most funeral homes want to be paid upfront, so leaving arrangements through your will isnât ideal. Your family will have to pay for the expenses and wait for probate to reimburse them, which could take months or even years, depending on the circumstance and legalities.
Your final wishes will be carried out by those you love. Choosing the right beneficiary is important for you and all your loved ones.
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Does Medicare Cover Funeral Costs
Medicare generally doesn’t cover funeral costs, but a Medicare MSA plan is the exception.
Contributing expert:Travis Price, Medicare consultantPublished: March 15, 2022
Travis Price is a licensed independent health insurance agent specializing in Medicare private insurance programs, including Medicare Advantage and Part D drug plans. Price has been in the Medicare industry since 2004, first in South Carolina and now in the Traverse City, Michigan, area.
Taxation Of Preneed Funeral Trusts
The Internal Revenue Service has determined that Purchasers of preneed funeral trusts are responsible for any income tax resulting from interest earned on the trust account. The funds, although set aside as payment for funeral expenses, always remain the property of the Purchaser. With the exception of irrevocable trusts, a Purchaser always maintains the right to withdraw the funds at any time prior to the performance of the funeral. Although withdrawals are not permitted from irrevocable trusts, the funds may be transferred to a different funeral firm at any time.
A Purchaser should receive a tax information statement each year by January 31st, indicating the amount of interest earned on the account for the previous year. In addition, at any time upon written request, a funeral firm must provide a Purchaser with an accurate balance including principal and accrued interest.
Most funeral firms are extremely knowledgeable concerning all aspects of prepaid funerals in general, spicifics on SSI/Medicaid, and often have the added benefit of local Social Services Department relationships which may make this part of the “spend down” process go more smoothly.
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Who Can Apply For Funeral And Burial Payment Assistance
If a person lived in Massachusetts at the time of their death and there are not enough resources to pay for the funeral and burial costs, you can apply for payment assistance. You might be able to get help paying for up to $1,100 of the cost. There are rules that apply, which you can learn about on this page.
What States Have Funeral Assistance
There are a few states that will assist you with the expense of funerals.
As an example:
- Michigan This state provides a burial payment of up to $475 to the funeral home.
- Wisconsin The state of Wisconsin has a specialized assistance program that provides up to $1,500 in funeral expenses.
- New Mexico If you live in this state, your complete funeral expenses will most likely be reimbursed.
- Rhode Island Funeral aid in Rhode Island costs an average of $900.
States such as Montana, Kansas, Arizona, Arkansas, North Carolina, New York, and South Carolina, among others, do not have state burial resources. However, bear in mind that these restrictions are always changing, and you can remain up to date by checking our website.
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Am I Allowed To Run A Fundraising Campaign To Help Me With Funeral Costs
Yes. Fundraising has always been an option for families who need help paying for funeral services for a loved one. Bake sales, car washes, and church or social group fundraisers are a great place to start. You can also use online crowdfunding sites to increase your reach by appealing to family and friends through email and social media.
Does Medicare Advantage Pay Funeral Expenses
Medicare Advantage plans do not provide any benefit or coverage for funeral expenses, although there is a type of Medicare Advantage plan that may prove to be helpful in the future in offsetting these costs.
This plan is called a Medicare Savings Account . A Medicare Medical Savings Account is a plan offered by private insurances companies and closely resembles a Health Savings Account. The plan functions as a high deductible health option that allows you to choose your health care services as well as your health care providers.
These plans are like a Health Savings Account because half of this plan feautres a Medical Savings Account. The Medicare Medical Savings Account plan desposits money into your savings account that you can use to pay for you healthcare costs.
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Be Sure To Compare Prices
Avoid making the mistake of going with the first funeral home you speak with and do your research. While it will take a bit more time at the start to get a price list from each funeral home you’re interested in working with, it’ll be worth it in the long run. Comparing prices between funeral homes ensures you’re getting the best deal possible and aren’t paying more than you need to.
What Can Social Security Funeral Benefits Be Used For
Though the survivor funeral grant is earmarked for assistance with funeral costs, it arrives as a single payment of cash and may be spent on anything the assignee wishes. When the grant was first enacted, in 1935, the real value of $255 was close to $2,500 in 2020 dollars. This made it an adequate support for nearly all working Americans funeral expenses. After nearly nine decades of inflation, the Social Security Administration continues to pay out the original amount, without any adjustment, in what has become an anachronism that rarely covers the full cost of funeral expenses.
Fortunately, many states offer extra help with funeral and burial expenses. The state of Illinois, for example, pays a similar one-time benefit of up to $1,103 for the funeral of a low-income resident. Other states, and even some cities or counties have similar programs. In addition to these benefits, almost every state allows free donation of bodies to medical science. These donations are respectfully handled and studied for the advancement of science, after which they are cremated at no cost.
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How To Access Medicaids Funeral Assistance
There is no particular step-by-step guide to accessing your Medicaid funeral assistance program since some states will provide one while others will not.
If your state isnt on the list, dont despair there are still methods to save money on funerals and other services. You only need to complete the following:
- Make sure there are Medicaid funds available in your state
- Contact your coroner
- Reach out to different state programs for assistance.
Does Social Security Pay For Funeral Costs
The Social Security Administration is similarly not very generous.
While Social Security does pay survivor benefits after the death of an SSI recipient, the amount is far too small to pay for a funeral or cremation.
Social Security pays a one-time lump-sum death payment of $255 to the surviving spouse, as long as they live with the deceased or receive social security benefits on the deceaseds record.
If there is no living spouse, the payment is made to a child eligible for benefits on the deceaseds record in the month of death.
Be sure to visit the relevant page on the SSAs website or speak with your local social security office to confirm your eligibility.
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Horse And Carriage Funeral
A horse and carriage funeral is arguably the most elegant type of funeral service possible. This style of funeral is a sophisticated and unforgettable event for everyone in attendance. With final expense insurance, this is not out of reach. You ought to be remembered the way you want to be remembered, and as one of your final decisions, you ought to have a funeral thats done just the way you want it. You may have had to compromise what you wanted throughout your life due to financial concerns, but that wont happen this time. For small premium costs, you can have a final expense policy that covers the service you want.
How You Can Make This Happen
These services are locally offered, so it is best to search for available companies providing this service in your area. From there, you can make arrangements, ranging from which horse you would like, to the type of carriage , and even decor options such as the drapes on the horses. Once you complete the application process, you are well on your way to a funeral service that no one will ever forget. The horse may travel from the church to the burial site, funeral home to church, or the funeral home to the burial site.
One factor to keep in mind is the cost. The rate is typically hourly, and additional charges may come into effect after surpassing a certain mileage.
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Military & Veteran Assistance
To help with funeral costs, all military veterans are entitled to a free burial in a national cemetery and a grave marker. Spouses and dependent children of veterans are also entitled to a plot and marker in a national cemetery.
For veterans, there are typically no costs for opening and closing the grave, for a vault liner, or for setting the grave marker. The family is usually responsible for other funeral costs such as transportation.
Many states have established veteran cemeteries, but some commercial cemeteries offer discounts for veterans. These cemeteries sometimes offer a free plot for the veteran, but sometimes charge high fees to open and close the grave. Its important to evaluate all of your options before choosing a commercial cemetery.
For non-service-related deaths, the US Department of Veterans Affairs will pay as much as $780 in burial expenses. To receive this amount, the deceased must have been hospitalized by the VA at the time of death. Without VA hospitalization, the VA will pay $300 toward expenses. If you do not plan to bury your loved one in a national cemetery, you could receive an additional $780 plot-interment allowance.
For service-related deaths, the VA will pay up to $2,000 toward burial expenses. For veterans buried in a VA national cemetery, the agency may also pay you back for your transportation costs. To receive reimbursement, you must meet the following requirements:
For more information, read our funeral planning guide for veterans.
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Medicare Medical Savings Account
A Medicare Medical Savings Account, or MSA, is a type of Medicare Advantage plan. These plans have a high deductible, and Medicare wont pay for any medical costs until the deductible has been met.
Instead, beneficiaries open a specialized savings account and their Medicare plan deposits money into it to cover medical-related expenses. These funds can be used to pay for medical expenses prior to meeting the deductible.
As money is paid into the savings account in advance, a proportion of the money has to be returned to the government after the beneficiary passes away. However, any other money leftover becomes part of your estate.
If you have a spouse who also has an MSA, they can use the money for their medical-related expenses. However, money can also be used for funeral expenses and end-of-life costs. Its important to note that any funds used for something besides medical expenses, such as a funeral, are taxable. The money can also take time to be passed along, so your loved ones may not receive it until after your burial.
As MSAs are a high-deductible insurance plan, theyre not appropriate for everyone. Its better to choose a Medicare plan based on your medical requirements rather than any future funeral costs. Counselors at your local State Health Insurance Assistance Program can help you choose the best Medicare plan to suit your needs.
Reporting A Medicare Beneficiarys Death
If your family member or loved one was a Medicare beneficiary, youâll need to report the death to Medicare. Youâll need the personâs Social Security number. You can do so by contacting Social Security at 1-800-772-1213, Monday through Friday, from 7AM to 7PM. TTY users can call 1-800-325-0778.
If your loved one worked for a railroad, contact the Railroad Retirement Board to report the death at 1-877-772-5772, Monday through Friday, from 9AM to 3:30PM. TTY users can call 1-312-751-4701.
If your loved one was enrolled in a Medicare plan from a Medicare-approved private insurer, such as a Medicare Advantage or Medicare Prescription Drug Plan, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services will notify the plan after you report the death to Medicare. The beneficiary will be disenrolled from the plan the first day of the month after the month of death. This means if someone dies June 13, he will be disenrolled from his plan on July 1.
To begin looking for a Medicare plan in your area, enter your zip code on this page.
Medicare information is everywhere. What is hard is knowing which information to trust. Because eHealthâs Medicare related content is compliant with CMS regulations, you can rest assured youâre getting accurate information so you can make the right decisions for your coverage.Read more to learn about our Compliance Program.
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