Newman Law Group

Power of attorney agent may not have Medicare access

Because an incapacitating event could happen to anyone, it is important that California residents make arrangements to have someone handle their affairs. Often, parties utilize power of attorney documents to appoint agents to handle financial and health care matters. However, it is important to know that an agent may not have sweeping authority in all related matters.

If a person uses Medicare, he or she may assume that a power of attorney agent can access the needed information to continue using those benefits in the event of the person's incapacitation. This type of assumption could leave already struggling individuals in a difficult spot, as Medicare does not abide by power of attorney appointments. Instead, an authorized representative has to be set up with Medicare.

Unfortunately, if someone does not make this specific appointment and only relies on the power provided to a POA agent, access to benefits could be denied. Because no one wants to end up in that predicament, appointing an authorized representative is crucial. The Medicare recipient can revoke that authorization at any time if he or she changes her mind about the representative or if other reasons arise.

Power of attorney documents are vital to a comprehensive estate plan, but it is important to consider areas where an agent's power may not reach. Fortunately, concerned California residents can discuss the scope of an agent's power with a knowledgeable attorney to ensure that they have the right information. Thorough planning could help prevent parties from ending up in even more difficult ordeals than necessary.

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