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Reviewed by Joel Ohman
Founder, CFP®

UPDATED: Feb 25, 2021

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Summary

  • End-of-life care is an important service given to those who are in the final weeks, months, or years of their lives
  • Financing end-of-life care services can be very costly, but luckily government programs or insurance cover these costs most of the time
  • Palliative care provides more than just aid in accomplishing daily tasks; it also provides emotional support and companionship in life’s final days

Caring for a loved one near the end of their life can be costly and time-consuming. End-of-life care is usually handled by professionals in-home or in a nursing home.

The cost of this care can be expensive. What about financing end-of-life care?

There are no specific financing companies or lenders that cater themselves to end-of-life care like there are for other types of personal loans. In many cases, there are government programs or insurance plans that will cover the majority of the cost of palliative care.

If there are additional costs associated with end-of-life care, you can choose to finance this with a personal loan or by using savings or other financial means.

We’ll take a closer look at palliative care, financing options for end-of-life care, and more. If you’re ready to compare interest rates on loans to finance end-of-life care, enter your ZIP code above.

How much does end-of-life care cost?

The cost of end-of-life care will depend on a number of different factors, including how sick an individual is, how much help they need, etc.

While exact costs are hard to pin down, end-of-life care costs statistics show that these costs account for ten percent of all health care spending in the United States. You can read more about this staggering figure from NPR.

End-of-life care is generally referred to as palliative care by health care professionals. Palliative care is usually covered by insurance or government programs, but we will explore this further below.

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What is palliative care?

This is a specialized type of medical care for people living with a serious illness or near the end of their life.

Palliative care is not necessarily trying to cure anything. This type of care is designed to ease the pain of disease and assist in accomplishing daily tasks like dressing, cleaning wounds, etc.

Palliative care also provides people with a little companionship near the end of their life. This type of care can offer comfort and emotional support too.

What is included in palliative care?

Palliative care includes quality of life care designed to make a person’s daily existence a little better. These care services can include:

  • medication
  • emotional support
  • symptom relief
  • help with daily tasks
  • help with understanding your disease or condition
  • coordinating with your other doctors

Palliative care can include a number of different things. Anything that can help make a sick person’s life a little better or easier generally falls under the umbrella of palliative care.

Who pays for palliative care?

In the grand majority of cases, palliative care costs are covered by health insurance, government program, or life insurance policies. In some cases, these coverages may not fully cover all of the costs associated with this care.

In these instances, you would need to pay for the rest of the care yourself through some other means. If you have Medicaid or Medicare, you should speak with your health care program about your needs and coverage.

If you are struggling to find financing for end-of-life care, you can likely get relief through another government program.

If you have concerns about the costs of palliative care, a financial consultant or a social worker from your palliative care team can help you go over your payment options.

How do I finance end-of-life care?

There are no specific companies that offer palliative care financing. However, this doesn’t mean you don’t have financing options. You could always seek a personal loan.

Personal loans are different than student loans or auto loans, but they can be an effective way to help you pay for medical bills that you can’t afford.

When getting a personal loan for end-of-life care, you need to be careful that you are not getting taken advantage of. These loans often have higher interest rates than auto loans, and there are a lot of companies that will quickly approve you for a loan with no collateral.

Lenders could shy away from you if you are near the end of your life. This creates more risk for them and makes the recovery of their money less likely. You may need to get one of your children or someone else to co-sign your loan agreement with you in order to get a loan.

Taking out a loan makes more sense for children of those who need palliative care, but this option should be a last resort after all government assistance and insurance options have been exhausted.

Financing End-of-Life Care: The Bottom Line

You likely won’t have to worry about financing end-of-life care. Government programs, health insurance, and life insurance programs generally cover most of the costs associated with end-of-life and palliative care services.

If you really need to pay for this type of care out-of-pocket, you could explore personal loan options, but this isn’t a great option for this type of care.

Make sure you speak with your Medicare representative, palliative care team, and a financial consultant to fully explore all of your financial options when it comes to financing end-of-life care.

If you’re ready to compare financing rates for end-of-life care, enter your ZIP code below.