Does Medicare Cover Cremation?

a bench with a group of headstones in front of a cemetery

If you’ve recently lost a family member or loved one, it can be a difficult time in your life for you and your family. While the emotional stress of losing someone you care about can take its toll on you, so can the financial burden of paying for funeral services in the wake of someone’s passing. Particularly if you’ve already been paying for expensive medical treatments or medication, the financial burden of giving your loved one a dignified service while still covering the costs associated with it can be difficult to balance. In these sorts of situations, you may be curious as to whether or not Medicare can be used to cover some of these costs and fees. Here’s what you need to know about using Medicare to pay for cremation or other funeral services.

In recent years, cremation has begun to grow in popularity amongst Americans as a dignified way to honor the dead and handle their remains. Unlike a conventional burial that involves purchasing a tombstone, burial plot, and casket, all of which can add up. That’s not even considering the cost it takes to have a body properly prepared at a mortuary. These costs combine to total upwards of thousands of dollars, depending on the choices that you make. Cremations, on the other hand, are much less expensive while still offering a simple way to honor your loved one after they’re deceased. According to Heritage Cremation Provider, a family-owned business with over twenty years of experience in the cremation industry, cremations can range in price from about $700 to $1400. This is a much less expensive proposition than a burial with a casket, and even includes other necessary tasks like transporting the body to the crematory, receiving a death certificate, and getting a container to hold the remains in.

Even though cremation is a very affordable option for most families, the fact remains that there are many other costs that might be incurred when you or a loved one passes away. In these situations, it can give you peace of mind to know that you have an insurance policy to help cover these costs. While Medicare is useful for a variety of medical costs associated with aging and it’s easy to get a quote for Medicare insurance online, Medicare won’t cover cremation costs. This is because regardless of the particulars of your specific Medicare policy, funeral costs of any kind aren’t recognized as medical costs. This distinction is not unique to just Medicare, however. Medicaid also doesn’t consider funeral, cremation, or burial costs as medical fees, nor does Social Security per se. You may get some survivor benefits from Social Security if you or your loved one qualify, but this amount is generally very small and could only cover a portion of the fees associated with a funeral service or cremation.

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