Person looking out a window

Resources and care after a loved one dies

We’re here to help you through this difficult time. We offer bereavement support and guidance on things you’ll need to do — including how to cancel your loved one’s health coverage and how you can stay covered.


Bereavement support

Moving through grief

Grieving after losing someone close to you is a natural process, and everyone experiences it differently. There aren’t set stages — and there’s no finish line. You may feel a range of emotions. It’s important to recognize that these feelings are normal and find ways to understand and express them. In addition to talking with friends and family, your care team can support you during this difficult time.

Learn about managing grief

Two people comforting each other

Resources for our members

Grief is more than sadness. You may have a range of responses after the loss of a loved one, including physical or emotional pain. The stress of grief can worsen an existing condition — or you may just want to share your feelings with someone. Whatever you’re going through, you don’t have to do it alone. 


What to do when a loved one dies

There are many practical tasks to take care of after a death — now and over the next several months. It may feel overwhelming while you’re also grieving a special person. Don’t be shy about asking for or accepting help from family and friends. This list can help you organize some of the main steps to take. It may not cover everything you need to do, but it can help you get started. If there’s an estate executor, that person may be responsible for many of these tasks.

Note: You’ll need an original death certificate for some tasks. Your funeral home can help you get copies. 

  • Inform family and caregivers.
  • Arrange for the care of children or dependents.
  • Arrange for pets to stay with someone who can care for and comfort them.
  • Notify your loved one’s school or employer. Ask their employer about benefits, life insurance, and final pay.
  • Cancel health coverage for your loved one. 
  • Enroll any dependents in new health coverage. You generally have 60 days from the date of the person’s death to enroll in new coverage. 
  • Notify your loved one’s spiritual community.
  • Request original copies of the death certificate from the funeral home or county clerk’s office. You’ll likely need several, and there’s a cost for each.
  • Seek out people who care about you and know what you’re going through, who can offer the love and support you need.
  • Ask for help. Whether you need a hand with chores or just want companionship, don’t be afraid to reach out to family and friends.
  • Avoid making major life changes while grieving.
  • Plan ahead for events when you might need more support, like holidays, anniversaries, and other special occasions.
  • If you’re part of a spiritual community, stay involved.
  • Join a support group or meet with a grief counselor.
  • Locate your loved one’s will and review their final wishes.
  • Consider planning a funeral or memorial service that celebrates the person’s life and honors their wishes.
  • Write and publish an obituary. Your funeral home can help.
  • Find the will and inform the executor.
  • Notify banks and other financial institutions.
  • Consider consulting an accountant about taxes.
  • Inform insurance companies.
  • If your loved one lived alone, forward their mail and deliveries to your address.
  • Review their credit card accounts, subscriptions, and policies. Remove their name from joint accounts and cancel any personal accounts.
  • Update or cancel utilities, mobile phone, Internet, and TV and streaming services.
  • Prevent identity theft. Cancel their driver’s license, close their email account, and send a copy of the death certificate to 1 of the 3 major credit bureaus.
  • Update their voter registration.
  • Memorialize or delete your loved one’s social media accounts. (You may need to contact the platform for help.)

Cancel your loved one's coverage

To cancel health coverage for someone after their death, contact the organization where they enrolled. This could be their employer, Kaiser Permanente, Medicare, or Medicaid/Medi-Cal. If you’re not sure, contact Member Services.

Call their employer’s human resources department. The employer will inform Kaiser Permanente, so you won’t need to call us. They can also tell you whether your loved one had other benefits through the company, such as life insurance.


If your loved one enrolled directly with Kaiser Permanente, contact Member Services in your loved one’s state. Call the phone number on their Kaiser Permanente identification card, or find other ways to reach us

Health benefit exchange

If your loved one had an individual and family plan, contact the health benefit exchange in the state where they were covered.

Covered California
1-800-300-1506 (TTY 711)

Connect for Health Colorado 
1-855-752-6749 (TTY 711)

District of Columbia
DC Health Link
1-855-532-5465 (TTY 711)

1-800-318-2596 (TTY 711)

1-800-318-2596 (TTY 711)

Maryland Health Connection 
1-855-642-8572 (TTY 711)

Oregon Health Insurance Marketplace 
1-800-318-2596 (TTY 711)

1-800-318-2596 (TTY 711)

Washington state
Washington Healthplanfinder 
1-855-923-4633 (TTY 711)

In most cases, the mortuary or funeral home will report your loved one’s death to the Social Security Administration. Social Security will inform Medicare, so you won’t need to contact them.

If one of the following situations applies to your loved one’s death, you may need to contact other agencies.

You’re not using a mortuary or funeral home

You may need to report the death to Social Security yourself. Call 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) or contact your local Social Security office. 

Your loved one died at a Kaiser Permanente facility

We’ll automatically stop their premium payments — you don’t need to contact us.

Your loved one didn’t die at a Kaiser Permanente facility

You’ll need to contact us to stop their premium payments. Call Kaiser Permanente’s Medicare Member Services in your loved one’s state, 7 days a week, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Your loved one was covered by Medicare through their employer

Call their employer’s human resources department to end their coverage.

Your loved one’s premium was deducted from Social Security or Railroad Retirement Board benefits

Allow up to 3 months for Social Security or the Railroad Retirement Board to process a refund.

In most cases, the mortuary or funeral home will report your loved one’s death to the Social Security Administration. Social Security will inform Medicaid (Medi-Cal in California), so you won’t need to contact them or Kaiser Permanente.

If you need to report the death to Social Security, call 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) or contact your local Social Security office. 

Make sure you stay covered

If you’re covered under your loved one’s health plan, your coverage will end on the last day of the month they died. You generally have 60 days from the date of the person’s death to enroll in new coverage.

We can help you stay with the doctor and care team you know and trust. Call a transition specialist at 1-800-603-3743 (TTY 711) to learn your options and find a plan that fits your needs and budget.


More resources to help you grieve

Learning about grief can help you process your experience. We encourage you to explore a variety of organizations and resources to find what’s right for you. The following groups aren’t affiliated with Kaiser Permanente but are some resources that may be helpful.*

*This list is for informational purposes only. Kaiser Permanente doesn’t endorse or promote any of these organizations. Please contact the organizations directly to ask about possible associated fees, ask questions about group facilitators, and confirm times and locations.