Content starts here

AARP Backs Bill to Make Advance Care Planning Appointments More Affordable Through Medicare

Close up of son holding his mothers hands - stock photo
Portra Images/Getty Images

En español | We wrote to a bipartisan group of federal lawmakers this week to support a bill that would make certain appointments with doctors, social workers and other health care providers to discuss end-of-life care options more affordable for Medicare beneficiaries. The bill would waive cost-sharing for advance care planning services and allow licensed clinical social workers to offer the appointments.

Advance care planning visits are a great way for people to sit down with a doctor or other health care provider and talk through their options and preferences before they get to a point where they can no longer make their own care decisions. Medicare Part B currently covers advance care planning discussions as part of beneficiaries’ annual wellness visits — otherwise, they’ll have to pay deductibles and coinsurance.

“Cost should not be a hindrance to these important conversations, and waiving cost-sharing will remove one potential roadblock, especially for more modest income families,” Bill Sweeney, senior vice president for government affairs at AARP, wrote in the letters. “This legislation will help facilitate conversations with individuals, their families and providers, and help document individuals’ wishes so they may be followed.”

Read our letter to lawmakers, and learn more about AARP’s advance care resources.

Get Our Daily Newsletter

Start each day with The Daily newsletter for the latest in health, money and jobs — and updates on how we're fighting for you.