Medicare does pay out death benefits that can be used to assist with funeral costs. However, these benefits typically do not cover the complete cost of a funeral and burial but rather assist in the cost. Medicare does not directly pay for funeral costs. Social Security will also pay out a small amount of death benefits that can be applied towards funeral costs but this amount is minimal and will only assist in the payment not cover the funeral.
Death benefits paid out by Medicare depend on the status of the persons medical bills. If the medical bills were being paid by the persons estate, then a death benefit to help cover medical bills and other costs may be mailed to the estate. If the medical bills where being paid by a third party then the death benefit will be paid out to the third party. In order to start the process a copy of the death certificate must be supplied to the Medicare Administration.
Considering the cost of an average funeral is around ten thousand dollars, the few hundred you may or may not receive from Medicare will not cover your funeral expenses. It is best to have a supplemental funeral cost plan such as life insurance or a savings set aside for just this purpose. There are ways to minimize the cost of a funeral, such as cremation. There may also be county assistance to help with funeral costs. To apply check with the county the deceased resided in for further funeral costs assistance. Medicare was set up to pay for medical care and bills not necessary the cost of a funeral.