About a quarter of Medicare’s spending goes towards coverage for those in their last year of life. The most common causes of death among seniors are typically health problems that are expensive to treat, such as various cancers, cardiovascular diseases, and respiratory diseases. You should be selling final expense and life insurance policies to help your clients protect their families after they’re gone, but what does Medicare cover on its own?
Advance Care Planning is an important part of Medicare that is often forgotten about. It is included as a part Part B. Physicians can help Medicare clients fill out forms to prepare for the unfortunate event that they can no longer speak for themselves, and doctors are paid (by Medicare) about $80 for providing the service. It may include an “advance directive,” or written will. Nearly 40% of Medicare-eligible patients do not have an advance directive.
Advance Care Planning is offered for free if it is included in a client’s first “Welcome To Medicare” physician appointment but is otherwise subject to 20% coinsurance.
For the terminally ill, Medicare provides hospice services including counseling, skilled nursing care, palliative drugs, and caregiver assistance. These services most typically occur within the patient’s home – otherwise, a hospital indemnity plan may be more sufficient.
How does Medicare define terminally ill? A patient must be expected to pass within six months to qualify for hospice coverage. It’s all about providing end-of-life comfort and last-resort attempts to cure a problem. Efforts are generally lessened with age, especially after age 73.
In 2014, Medicare payouts to those who soon passed totaled $34,520 per person. Medicare end-of-life services are among the most expensive for the program, but most important for clients. Keep your clients informed, and help them to make the decision to purchase hospital indemnity, final expense, and life insurance plans to supplement Medicare end-of-life care and coverage.