Back in November, I read an article in the AARP bulletin entitled “More Insurers Covering End-of-Life Talks.” What I found most interesting is that the public conversation and political outrage from a few years ago, which caused the Affordable Care Act (ACA) to take back its plan to cover conversations with patients about their End-of-Life care and concerns – (this was the “death panel” debate), has nonetheless caused the issue to move forward in a positive direction.
It’s important to note that despite the misunderstandings and misinformation about the “talks,” the public has become much more well-informed on the subject, and some private insurers have started covering these talks when patients are facing serious and/or terminal illnesses. A handful of private insurance companies were named in the article. They assign registered nurses and certified case managers to cover talks with people about their end-of-life wishes and concerns, trying to interact before the patient and their families are in crisis.
What is most promising, however, is that Medicare, upon the recommendation from the American Medical Association (AMA), is considering the AMA’s request to cover these talks as well. Medicare was expected to decide this Fall – stay tuned for their decision. Whether you are a Medicare recipient or covered through private insurers, be sure to ask if these talks are covered.
As an attorney, this information on possible coverage for a talk with the medical professionals is yet another opportunity to remind people of the value of creating a Health Care Directive (HCD). Not only does it offer you an opportunity to select an agent who will speak for your wishes if you are unable, but it also allows you an opportunity to think through your end-of-life wishes and concerns, articulate them in writing, and, as is usually recommended, share this document with your family and your health care professionals. An attorney is not required to draft the document, but is recommended for a number of reasons. If you’re interested in learning more about those reasons, search the archives of legallymade.com and type in “health care directives” in the search box.This blog is written by Bridget-Michaele Reischl, Attorney DECORO LAW OFFICE, PLLC www.decorolaw.com
ALL READERS: This blog is not, nor shall it be deemed to be, legal advice or counsel. This blog does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader. It is designed to encourage thoughtful consideration of important legal issues with the expectation that readers will seek professional advice from a licensed attorney.Contact Bridget-Michaele Reischl at: DECORO LAW OFFICE, PLLC 6 West 5th Street, Suite 800-D Saint Paul, MN 55102 (651)-321-3058 [email protected]