New Oklahoma bill could pay people to write advance directives

Some reports indicate that only 30 percent of people in the U.S. have actually taken the time to write down very important information about what they want to happen in extreme medical situations where death is likely. These documents are known as advance directives. They deal with situations involving whether or not resuscitation should carried out, who should have the power of attorney for financial or medical decisions, what preferences a person has when it comes to treatment, and more.

It is good for relatives to have this information, especially in writing, and a senator in Oklahoma is working to encourage people to outline these things more often. The way that he is going about it is unique, though. A new bill that he is promoting would give people $75 if they write their directives.

The legislation, which is known as the Medicare Choices Empowerment and Protection Act, would offer people the $75 if they went online and wrote and saved their directives. The payment would come from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. If people did not want to do it online and they decided to manually write everything out, they could still get $50.

This would not go for everyone in Oklahoma, however. It's only for senior citizens on Medicare.

The reason for this bill is that some studies have indicated money would be saved if people had advanced directives, so paying them to create the paperwork may actually be able to save money overall. Anyone who is at the right age and who is still living without wills and other paperwork in place should watch this bill to see if it passes, as they could stand to earn money and set up important documents at the same time.

Source: Time, "How To Get Paid for Planning Your Death" Alexandra Sifferlin, May. 08, 2014

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