Articles Tagged with COVID-19

During these unprecedented times, Houston residents have many questions about a potential COVID vaccine and whether it will be covered by Medicare. Medicare is a national health insurance program that provides insurance for Americans 65 or older and some younger individuals with a disability. Similarly, Medicare Advantage is a type of health insurance plan that provides Medicare benefits through a private-sector health insurer, rather than the government. In Texas, over 4 million people rely on Medicare for their health needs. Because of this, it is important to know whether individuals with Medicare will have to pay out of pocket for a COVID vaccine – something many cannot afford – or whether it will be covered by Medicare. Those with questions about what Medicare covers can reach out to a Houston estate planning attorney for assistance.

Good and Bad News About The CARES Act

The CARES Act provides that if a COVID-19 vaccine becomes available, Medicare is required to cover the cost under Part B. Ordinarily, Medicare Part B helps to pay for doctor visits, preventive services, and vaccines such as the flu and pneumonia shots. Additionally, Medicare Advantage plans are required to include the basic coverage offered by Medicare Parts A and B, meaning a COVID-19 vaccine would also be covered for those with Medicare Advantage plans.

“The reality of COVID-19 has forced many individuals to address the ‘what if’ scenarios that were previously unthinkable, or at least the situations that no one ever wants to talk about or deal with.”

With the COVID-19 pandemic, many people are looking to execute estate plans they’ve delayed in finalizing and signing. Others are ready to get going on their estate plans that they should’ve started years ago.

Forbes’ recent article entitled “Eight Estate Planning Strategies In A COVID-19 World” lists some things you should know.

6a019b003fe4d5970b025d9b3dd866200c-600wi-300x200For many Houstonians, the fear of the unknown health, social, economic, and financial challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic are prompting intense concern and anxiety. If you are self-isolating or quarantining at home, you probably are already creating your new “normal” schedules, researching online resources, and creating ways to find comfort for yourself and your family.

Experts have suggested that in addition to movie marathons and being on social media, the time at home can be used to accomplish those things that you have been putting off, like spring cleaning and taxes. We suggest that now is a good time to revisit your estate planning goals. Now, more than ever, we’re experiencing the magnitude of just how essential planning for your future is. While most of these Coronavirus events are out of our control, we CAN plan for how important decisions about our estate and our health will be dealt with in the case of the unexpected.  As experienced Houston estate planning and elder law attorneys, all too often we see the dangers and unexpected consequences of not planning.

The bare bones of an estate plan start with a Will. Every adult needs a last will and testament, drafted by an experienced attorney, that will guide your executor to distribute your assets as YOU want them. The next minimum requirement for pre-planning are your powers of attorneys. If you become incapacitated or disabled, your financial (durable) and medical powers of attorneys can empower the right people to legally act for you, make transactions, consent to treatment, and potentially save time, money and even your life.

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