Can a funeral be covered by Medicaid?
When you lose a loved one it can be extremely difficult to deal with, let alone having to worry about the costs of a funeral on top of your grief.
There are a lot of people who find themselves in the position of being unable to financially support a funeral and find trying to fund a funeral devastating.
With so many people suffering through this, what happens when there isn’t enough money to pay for a funeral?
Assumably, Medicaid would cover the costs of a funeral however this is not always the case and they may not cover final costs.
Medicaid is administered in some states whereas in others there are other funeral fun aids in place.
In the article, we will tell you all you need to know about Medicaid and how much of a funeral cost they will cover, as much as other things you need to know.
Table of contents
- Funeral and Death Benefits from Medicaid
- Donating Body to Science
- Funeral Trusts and Medicaid
- How to Access Medicaids Funeral Assistance
- Final Thoughts
- Frequently Asked Questions
Funeral and Death Benefits from Medicaid
Medicaid is a government insurance program that provides medical coverage for people of all ages, who struggle financially and cannot afford health care.
Although you can qualify for Medicaid it doesn’t automatically guarantee that it is going to cover funeral expenses.
States administer Medicaid and different state programs vary due to different leaderships.
If you want to find out the funeral assistance that is offered to you by your state you should search the name of your state + Medicaid funeral expense to find out the specifications.
Although there are no programs state-wide to pay for funeral expenses, there may be other resources out there for your specific county that will help you out.
You may also be able to receive help from charity organizations or local religious groups who may be able to contribute to the funeral of your loved one.
In some states, Medicaid programs will assist in the burial of your loved one.
An example of this is in the state of Michigan where you will be granted a burial allowance of $475 which will be put toward burial and memorial service.
This program will pay an additional $145 to a cemetery and another $100 to pay for the vault.
Additionally, in Wisconsin, you may benefit from the Wisconsin Funeral and Cemetery Aid program. The deceased may be eligible for up to $1500 for funeral expenses if they had received Medicaid benefits.
$900 will be paid by the state of Rhode Island to anyone who can show the financial need for the money.
In New Mexico, the family’s resources will be taken into account before being accepted into the state program which provides money for both funeral and burial expenses.
States that do not offer resources for burials include Montana, Kansas, Arizona, Arkansas, North Carolina, New York, and more. This can change depending on leadership and if it changes.
Even if your state doesn’t offer you financial aid with funeral costs, there are other departments you can go to during this time. You may receive assistance from other programs.
Some states will contribute towards the cost of the cremation of your loved one. Michigan will pay up to $455 towards the service. The money will go directly to the funeral home director.
Some counties will have programs to help assist with the funds for final expenses. Most of the time the money goes towards cremation because it is the most economical way to take care of a body.
Donating Body to Science
If the body of your loved one should be donated to science, you should be aware that some universities won’t pay for the transportation.
That being said, they will pay for the aftercare and expenses of cremation after it is within their possession.
Different government programs will help pay for the expenses of transporting the body.
Funeral Trusts and Medicaid
If you are concerned and struggling with expenses for the funeral of your loved one, a good option to consider is the irrevocable funeral trust.
This is a stash of money that you put aside. It will only be used for funeral expenses. This is not the same as pre-paying for a funeral. As you are not choosing the exact funeral home that will be used.
An advantage of this is that you will not lose money should you have put it with a specific funeral home that closes unexpectedly.
The money in the trust cannot be used for anything other than the funeral. Because of this, it may not be looked at when determining Medicaid eligibility.
You must work with a knowledgeable financial advisor when looking into this as not all trusts qualify for this status.
Additionally, it is important that you know there is a limit to the amount you can put into a funeral fund trust. Each state sets the limit at a different amount.
How to Access Medicaids Funeral Assistance
It can be hard to give an exact guide on how to access funeral assistance. Because each state has different policies. For this reason, the steps below are only some general guidelines of what you should do.
1: Ensure No Other Funds are Available
People can sometimes have life insurance without even realizing it.
So make sure to thoroughly look through the paper trail left behind.
You should contact their place of employment to see if the company happened to have purchased a life insurance policy.
2: Talk with the Coroner or Funeral Director
The next thing you’ll want to do is have a chat with a funeral director or coroner. They should know all the resources available for those who cannot cover funeral costs.
3: Talk With the County Administrator
Your funeral director or coroner will be able to connect you to the county administrator. The one who knows about local funding to help with funeral expenses.
4: Reach Out to the State Administrator
Check online to see if the state that you live in offers any resources to pay for funeral expenses.
There are many options for you available when it comes to financial aid or a funeral. You should take a look at what is available in the state that you live in.
Frequently Asked Questions
But, who pays for the funeral if there is no money in the estate or a funeral plan is not in place? If there aren’t sufficient funds in the deceased’s bank accounts or within the estate to pay for the funeral, and they did not have a funeral plan, then the family would normally cover the funeral costs.
If you’re getting certain benefits, you can also apply for a Funeral Expenses Payment from the government to help you pay for the funeral.
Many poor families in the U.S. have been priced out of funerals and burials. People who can’t afford those services are left with the cheapest option: cremating their loved one’s remains and leaving it to a funeral home to dispose of them.