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What Is the Cost of Cremation vs. Burial for Your Hospice Plan of Care

When your loved one enters hospice care, it is an emotional and challenging time. While your focus is on making your family member comfortable and taking care of them during their time in hospice, you will also need to think about arrangements for after they pass. As part of your hospice care plan, you will need to designate how you want your loved one’s remains to be handled, including the disposition of the body.

You have options for how you handle funeral arrangements, including burial or cremation. Hopefully, you have had time to consult with your family member about their wishes, but regardless, you will need to make some decisions even during this challenging time. Such decisions include considering the cost of burial vs. cremation.

Cost of Burial vs. Cremation

While cost is probably the last thing on your mind when a family member enters hospice, the information in this article can help you compare the cost of cremation vs. burial, along with other options.

Average Cost of Burial

According to the National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA), the average cost of burial and funeral services is $7,848. A traditional funeral with a burial typically includes a casket, burial plot, headstone or grave marker, and service. Some cemeteries also require a vault, which can increase the costs by $1,500 to $2,000.

Average Cost of Cremation

The average cost of cremation varies depending on the options you select. Direct cremation from a crematorium can cost between $1,500 to $3,000, while cremation through a funeral home with a service can cost between $5,000 to $7,000.

Depending on the type of service and choices you make about how to handle the patient’s remains, the cost can rise significantly for both a burial and cremation.

Help with Costs

There are options available to reduce or offset costs. For example, the Social Security Administration (SSA) offers a one-time death benefit, although it is currently just $255. There are programs through the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) for past military members and Medicaid options for those meeting low-income thresholds. There are also programs in various states, counties, and cities that provide financial aid.

Another option is to donate the patient’s body to science. Besides organ donation, donating a body to science enables medical researchers, educators, and doctors to use human tissue for research, education, and training.

United Tissue Network (UTN) accepts whole-body donations in Arizona and Florida. A 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, UTN handles all of the arrangements, including transportation of the patient and making sure tissue is distributed to qualified research agencies. In addition, UTN covers 100% of the costs for the cremation of the remains. When the time comes, UTN will work directly with hospice professionals to coordinate the process and also provide two certified death certificates at no cost.

You can discuss organ donation and whole-body donation options with your hospice care team or reach out to the caring professionals at United Tissue Network. For individuals in hospice care, you can register with UTN for pre-approval. At the time of passing, family members or hospice workers can complete the registration. UTN accepts bodies of those over the age of 18 in Arizona or Florida.

Donating a Body to Science

When you donate a body to science, you are doing more than just eliminating your burial or cremation costs. You are supporting medical research and training that can benefit generations to come. While there is general awareness about organ donation, there is less known about donating a body to science. Yet, there are scientific advancements and medical discoveries that require using human tissue, which is not included in organ donation.

By donating a body to science, you can play an important role in the education and training of surgeons and physicians and help medical research unlock new discoveries and techniques.

The United Tissue Network is committed to furthering medical research and education through body donation. By donating a body to science, you contribute to the ethical advancement of medical science while receiving no-cost cremation services.

When considering the cost of burial vs. cremation, please also consider donating your loved one’s body to science.

Learn more about donating your body to science by contacting United Tissue Network. You can also call us at 1-877-738-6111 if you have questions.

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