COVID-19 and 3 Checkpoints For Your Financial Plan

covid and financial planning for doctors

As a client of MEDIQ, you are at the front line of the COVID-19 epidemic.

It is inevitable that all our clients will be impacted by COVID-19. However, rest assured that we will provide as much assistance as we can to help you through this difficult time.

Free Consultation with Ravi Agarwal

From Tuesday 24 March 2020 we will offer all existing and new clients a 20 minute free consult to discuss issues related to COVID-19. These consults will be by phone and I will call you at the scheduled time. I am opening up my diary from 8.30am to 7pm, Monday to Saturday.

You can request a booking here:

If you have any trouble using the form, please just email me.

Please priortise the following these 3 check-points:

1. Estate Planning

Unfortunately, the list of doctors who have already died during the Covid-19 epidemic is getting longer. It is important you ensure your affairs are in order.

In circumstances where there was a sudden and unexpected death, this already terrible situation can be exacerbated by the fact that the person either did not have a Will or the deceased person attempted a do-it-yourself kit. Where you die without a Will, the relevant State based legislation will govern who can administer your estate and who your estate will be left to (meaning not necessarily who you want).

Like any illness, prevention is better than cure. Investing in the initial upfront costs now will pay off in the long run.

Where a person has lost capacity and becomes incapable of managing their own affairs, their attorney appointed under an Enduring Power of Attorney and Medical Treatment Decision Maker/Enduring Guardian will step in. If an Enduring Power of Attorney and Appointment of Medical Treatment Decision Maker/Guardian are not in place at this time, then this will create stress and delay in managing your affairs while someone (who has an interest in your affairs) makes an application to the Victoria Civil and Administrative Tribunal (“VCAT”) or the New South Wales Civil and Administrative Tribunal (“NCAT”) for administration/financial and guardianship orders.

Enduring Powers of Attorney can also be useful even when a person has capacity. For example, if you are stuck overseas or in self-isolation, your attorney can act on your behalf in relation to your property and financial matters.

If your Will and Powers of Attorney are not up to date – please contact us immediately. Our Legal team can prepare your comprehensive Will so that you have one less thing to worry about.

Please send Mina from our Legal team an email and he will send you the Will Fact Finder to start the process.

2. Risk insurances

With the current COVID-19 pandemic many of our clients have asked the question, “am I covered?”.

Well, we have contacted our insurance partners who have advised that their insurance policies do cover you in the event that you contract COVID-19 and that there are no general exclusions on policies.

It is important to note that all claims will be assessed on a case-by case basis at the time of  claim.

It is important to note the types of insurance available and when they apply. Below is a table outlining when each applies:

Life Cover

Life cover provides a lump sum payment in the unfortunate event of death; some policies also provide for a terminal illness benefit

Total and permanent disability (TPD)

TPD pays you a lump sum if you become totally and permanently disabled. The definition of total and permanent disability varies between insurance companies. It can mean that you are disabled to the extent that you will probably be unable to work again in your occupation or in any job

Critical illness (Trauma)

Critical illness insurance provides a lump sum of money to cover immediate medical expenses and other financial needs when a critical illness or injury occurs. 

The items covered under Trauma cover vary from insurer to insurer

Income protection

Income protection insurance broadly covers you against being unable to work, not every reason for not working will allow you to claim. 

Benefits are payable if you are unable to work beyond the initial waiting period until the benefit period expires. These vary from policy to policy and they are tailored to your individual circumstance.

Income Protection does not cover any economic fall out or commercial decline in your practice – they purely insure your income when you are ill and unable to work.

Income Protection is the most likely insurance that you will be able to claim in the event of contracting COVID-19.

It is important to note that the Waiting Period does not commence where a life insured is self-isolating and unable to work, but is not suffering from a sickness.

Lump Sum benefits such as Critical Illness and TPD are intended to provide cover in the event of a serious health event that has material financial consequences for the life insured. In the case of TPD, this typically would mean that the health event would need to result in permanent impairment that prevents return to work.

So far, the majority of those who suffer from COVID-19  are likely to recover relatively quickly and with no permanent consequences. Given this, neither Critical Illness or TPD specifically cover COVID-19, however in the event of serious and lasting secondary complications you will need to speak to us about your specific situation to see how it can be addressed.

If you intend to travel overseas, it may have a material impact on the coverage your policy provides, please contact MEDIQ to discuss your individual circumstances and your policy further before you travel overseas.

3. Superannuation and Investments

COVID -19  has had an impact on all financial markets and asset classes, with broader economic and social disruption now anticipated to apply in the near future.

While we understand that you may have justifiable concerns regarding the impact of these on your investments, it is fair to say that our investment philosophy remains in place, the investments held by you are in line with your long-term investment objectives. 

We constantly monitor the asset allocation of each of our portfolios to seek to ensure we are always putting you in the best possible position for long-term positive outcomes. And long-term performance is one of the key factors to bear in mind during these events. While the global market may be currently experiencing a downturn, we remain confident this trend will reverse, as it has on each previous occasion. 

Early Access to superannuation

The Federal Government announced temporary changes to the early release conditions for individuals as part of its economic COVID-19 virus response. The Government is allowing affected individuals to access up to $10,000 of their superannuation in 2019-20 and a further $10,000 in 2020-21.

It is expected that you will be able to apply for early release of superannuation under this arrangement from mid-April 2020, if you meet at least one of the following criteria:

  1. You are unemployed; or
  2. You are eligible to receive a job seeker payment, youth allowance for jobseekers, parenting payment (which includes the single and partnered payments), special benefit or farm household allowance; or
  3. On or after 1 January 2020:
    • you were made redundant; or
    • your working hours were reduced by 20 per cent or more; or
    • if you are a sole trader — your business was suspended or there was a reduction in your turnover of 20 per cent or more.

People accessing their superannuation will not need to pay tax on amounts released.

More information is available at Early access to superannuation