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People die. Sometimes they die unexpectedly. Funerals and dealing with the estate arrangements do not make things easy on the person involved. Social Security sends out a $250 check that does little to cover a person's funeral expenses. However, a person needs to contact the social security office when a person dies. Notifying Social Security does not automatically inform the Medicare governing body that a person has died. The first thing a person needs to do is to contact the program and fill out all of the necessary paperwork. While the staff may be understanding, they do not usually help a widow or a widower fill the paperwork out.

Is It Hard to Report a Death to Medicare?

Suggesting that any of the processes that take place because someone has died is easy would only make things harder on the widower. Fortunately, Medicare only asks for a few lines of paperwork and proof that the person has died. Mailing in the paperwork and a death certificate is enough in most cases for government-sponsored health care insurance agency to close the account. The other legal arrangements tend to be hard enough on the survivors.

What Happens When I Report a Death to Medicare?

The person whose death is reported stops receiving Medicare benefits. The accounts are closed up and the government will ask for final payments if they fell such payments are warranted. The agency does not expect a person to pay outstanding debts right away. Usually the bills from the Medicare end are taken care of long before a recipient reaches the end of his life. Because the program is handled on an individual level rather than on a group level, the surviving spouse's benefits will continue for as long as he or she needs them.