Judy Stein is the executive director of the Center for Medicare Advocacy, a national nonprofit law organization she founded in 1986. For 40 years, Stein has passionately advocated for older people and people with disabilities, representing Medicare beneficiaries and advancing Medicare rights and quality healthcare in the judicial, executive and legislative arenas.
Society could do much more to support patients and families at the end of life by alleviating the financial anxiety and demands that too often accompany terminal illness.
We should update the current Medicare hospice benefit to provide full coverage for people with
terminal conditions. The coverage would be available in all care settings for as long as it is needed – and would include supportive services as well as healthcare.
Individuals facing the end of life, and their families, would be better able to focus on caring for one another. They would be free from the overwhelming financial worries and demands that too often add to the trauma of this already difficult time.