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How to Report a Death to Medicare

After the passing of a loved one, there are several tasks to handle. If your loved one was a Medicare beneficiary, one of the most critical loose ends to tie up is to report their death to Medicare. Follow this step-by-step guide to report a death to Medicare and ensure a smooth transition.

Why do I need to report the death?

When someone who receives Medicare dies, you must report their death for the proper cancellation of their benefits. This also prevents the improper distribution of benefits. Also, your loved one's status is updated, preventing identity theft and fraud.

In addition, reporting their death usually also triggers the one-time Social Security death benefit of $225 paid to the surviving spouse or child.

Medicare or Social Security Administration: Who should I contact?

Medicare may seem like the logical agency to report your loved one's passing, but this is not the case. That's because while Medicare handles benefit coverage and coordination, the SSA is in charge of enrollment and the verification of eligibility. Thus, you report any major changes, such as the demise of a beneficiary, to the SSA.

Who is responsible for reporting the death to Social Security?

Usually, the funeral home notifies Social Security on the family's behalf. If you choose to do this, you will need to supply the SSA number of the deceased person to the funeral director to add to the statement of death. However, you or an executor can choose to notify SSA yourself.

Steps for reporting a death to Medicare

Gather necessary information

Gather the necessary information about the deceased before you call Social Security. You will need their full name, date of birth, date of death, and Social Security number.

Contact the Social Security Administration (SSA)

Immediately after your loved one passes away, call the Social Security Administration's toll-free number at 1-800-772-1213. Inform them that you are reporting the death of a Medicare beneficiary.

Check and return paid benefits

Ensure your loved one has not been paid for the month they died. If they received their monthly benefits for the month they died, it is illegal to keep them. Return checks or bank deposits for the month of their death and subsequent ones to Social Security.

Do I also have to cancel Medicare?

Upon receiving your notification, Medicare will automatically disenroll them from Part A and Part B. Medicare will also notify the plans if your loved one had Medicare Advantage or Stand-alone Part D Drug Plan. For a Medigap Plan, you'll have to contact the plan directly to notify them of the passing.

Does Medicare billing continue after death?

Medicare billing can continue for up to one year after the death of your loved one. For services your loved one received until their end, doctors can submit claims, and the associated deductibles, copayments, or coinsurance must be paid.

Get help today

The death of a loved one can be harsh. But by following these steps, you can easily navigate the process during this challenging time. If you need help or have any questions about Medicare, don't hesitate to contact us.

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