Medicare insurance should not be confused with a general life insurance policy, although they can work in close association with each other. Most people purchase a life insurance plan when they have the responsibility of supporting a family. It provides financial security in cases of catastrophic injury or death.

If you are close to retirement, you may want to consider a life insurance policy if you do not already have one. Life insurance benefits can assist your loved ones in paying estate or inheritance taxes, providing a legacy for them, or for unexpected expenses that may occur later in your life such as critical illness, prolonged hospital stays, or accidental injury. Life insurance benefits can take over when Medicare benefits don’t offer enough coverage.

Does Medicare Cover Life Insurance Costs?
Medicare is a federal program that provides hospital and medical insurance for individuals who are eligible due to age or disability. It is strictly health insurance that covers some medically related expenses and does not cover life insurance premium costs.

Original Medicare Part A includes inpatient hospital stays, nursing facility care, home health care, and hospice care. Medicare Part B is medical insurance which includes doctor office visits, outpatient care and services, home health care, and certain preventive care. If you have Medicare Advantage, or Part C, your coverage will include at least the same Part A and Part B benefits as Original Medicare, but many Medicare Advantage plans provide additional benefits, including vision and dental care, hearing exams, prescription drug coverage, and other wellness services.

Unlike life insurance coverage, Medicare does not offer benefit payments to relatives for the loss of life of the policy holder.

It is common for people to confuse Medicare with life insurance. This is due to the fact that while the Social Security Administration manages Medicare, your Medicare policy is not responsible for funeral cost coverage, or for a death benefit. These benefits come directly from the Social Security Administration, not through Medicare. Social Security pays a one-time benefit to eligible survivors.

How Can Life Insurance Supplement Medicare Insurance? 
Life insurance policies provide great legacies, offer extra financial security to cover outstanding debt, or pay benefits for funeral and end of life expenses. They also give you the option to use financial benefits during your lifetime. One example is the option to supplement your Medicare coverage for large expenses such as long-term care costs.

If you require care in a skilled nursing home facility at some point, you may find yourself needing extra financial assistance from a life insurance policy. With Medicare insurance, if you meet their requirements, your benefits will pay for up to 100 days of skilled nursing care for each illness. This is covered in the following manner: 100 percent of the first 20 days, for days 21-100 you are responsible for a daily co-pay, after day 100 you pay full cost.

Medicare coverage does not extend to custodial long-term care that you may need in a nursing home, assisted living facility, or at-home. It only covers certain services that you receive in those settings. That means you are responsible for the cost of the facility and any custodial care you receive. Because long term care can be expensive, you may need additional financial coverage from a life insurance policy or a Medigap policy.

If you choose to use your life insurance to assist with payments for long-term nursing care, you can do so if you have one or more of the following options available through your policy:

• A combination products policy that includes long-term nursing
care benefits
• The option for life or viatical settlement
• Accelerated death benefit

Life insurance is not only for young working families. It is just as important to have this sort of financial security after retirement. If you already have a life insurance policy, check it over carefully to make sure that it covers any future needs. If you are considering purchasing a new life insurance policy for your retirement years, speak to and financial planner who can assist you in finding the right coverage for all your healthcare and long term needs.

Related articles:

What is Medicare Parts A & B

What is Medigap?