How the Coronavirus Pandemic Will Impact Retirees & Businesses

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How could businesses and retirees be impacted by the coronavirus being declared a pandemic?

Rebecca Rose Woodland, legal analyst, and Robert Powell, editor of Retirement Daily, joined TheStreet to break it down.

Watch the full video above for more

Video Transcript:

Katherine Ross:
Some insurance companies disallow claims in the case of a pandemic. Here to break down what that means for businesses and retirees is Rebecca Rose Woodland, litigator and legal analyst, and Robert Powell, editor of Retirement Daily.

Katherine Ross:
Rebecca, can you break down for us what this means for businesses?

Rebecca Rose Woodland:
So this is really, really dramatic for businesses. A lot of small businesses are losing money daily because the World Health Organization declared a pandemic and then individual governments, including the United States federal government and state governments, city governments, have closed businesses down unilaterally.

Rebecca Rose Woodland:
So what we're looking at is businesses really sustaining very large losses and looking to their insurance carriers to pay back those losses. Unfortunately, many insurance clauses within contracts from insurers to insured have disallowed claims after 2002 in the SARS epidemic. So claims for pandemics are not allowed. So a lot of these small businesses are looking and saying, "Where can I find help?"

Rebecca Rose Woodland:
Well, we're seeing that the stimulus package that has passed the Senate but not yet the House and has not been signed into law by the president, may provide some help in terms of loans that may be considered grants, and tax situations that may be relieved for a number of years, but we're not sure yet what's going to happen with that stimulus package, so well, you're going to have to stay tuned. Until then, I think a lot of small businesses are extremely nervous right now on how they're going to pay, how they're going to keep alive, how are they are going to even reopen after this pandemic.

Katherine Ross:
Bob, for retirees or people getting ready to retire, when it comes to the coronavirus treatments, how can Medicare help and what issues are there?

Robert Powell:
Sure. There are four things to cover with respect Medicare. So right now, if your physician or a medical provider ordered a coronavirus test on February 4th or after, it will be covered. Make sure your doctor ordered it, or your medical provider ordered it, and then it will be covered. The second thing is, if you have a Medicare Advantage Plan however, you might want to call and make sure you call and make sure you call your plan provider and make sure that is covered. Medicare Advantage has some quirky rules around what's covered and what isn't. So before you go for a test, call your provider.

Robert Powell:
The third thing I want to mention is, with respect to hospitalization. If it turns out that you need to be hospitalized, part A will cover your hospitalization, so there will be a deductible, and so you will have some out-of-pocket if you are hospitalized. The good news for folks who have a Medigap insurance policy or Medicare Supplement policy as it's called, typically those policies will cover the out-of-pocket cost for any hospitalization costs that you may face.

Katherine Ross:
Bob, Rebecca, thank you so much for taking the time to chat with us today. And for more on the markets and the coronavirus, please head on over to TheStreet.com.

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