Americans will pay quite a bit for Covid’s medical care during this wave of new cases-whether it’s regular coronavirus testing or long-term hospitalization.
In the early days of the pandemic, most major health insurance companies voluntarily exempted the costs associated with Covid treatment. Patients did not have to pay the usual out-of-pocket or deductions for visits to the emergency room or hospitalization.
Most Covid tests were also free.
After that, the situation changed as the pandemic continued into the second year. Federal law requires insurance companies to cover patients free of charge, even if there are medical reasons for treatment, such as exposure to illness or labeling of symptoms. However, many of the tests currently sought do not meet the definition of “medical reason” and are instead for surveillance.
And insurance companies are now treating Covid like any other illness and no longer fully cover the cost of treatment. Some companies, such as Delta Air Lines, plan to charge higher premiums to unvaccinated employees. This is partly due to the high cost of hospitalization for Covid cases.
“Insurers face the question of whether Covid treatment costs everyone or individuals who choose not to vaccinate,” said the Kaiser Family Foundation, which investigated the situation of insurers. Said Cynthia Cox, Vice President of. Covers Covid treatment.
Federal regulations that make coronavirus testing free Exemption from daily work and school examsThis is becoming more common as students return to the classroom and companies require unvaccinated workers to undergo regular inspections.
According to a document submitted by patients to the New York Times project to track the cost of Covid’s tests and treatments, some patients are already in regular screening because insurance companies do not need to cover their regular tests. I have received an inspection invoice for as much as $ 200.If you receive an invoice, you can submit it here..
However, some of the highest invoices will include Covid patients who require extensive hospital care now that most insurers no longer fully cover those invoices. According to a recent study by the Kaiser Family Foundation, 72% of large-scale health insurance no longer offers patients free Covid treatment. found..
This includes Florida’s Blue Cross Blue Shield, Florida’s largest health insurance, which is experiencing one of the worst outbreaks in the country. On Wednesday, Florida Blue began requiring patients to pay their usual deductions and out-of-pocket payments for Covid treatment. A spokeswoman, Toni Woods, said the plan is currently focused on encouraging vaccination.
“When the Covid-19 pandemic began last year, we implemented some emergency measures to temporarily help our members,” she said in a statement. “Covid-19 medical diagnostic tests and vaccinations will continue to be available to members at a cost of $ 0.”
Oscar Health, which sells insurance in Florida and 14 other states, also ended free Covid treatment this week. It cited the wide availability of vaccines as the main reason.
Jackie Kahn, an Oscar spokeswoman, said: “We believe the Covid vaccine is the best way to overcome this pandemic and we promise to cover it and test it for $ 0 for our members.”
The new policy typically applies to all patients, including vaccination. People who get sick from breakthrough infections. Children under the age of 12 who are not yet eligible for the vaccine.
“If you have a small child who gets infected with Covid at school and eventually gets infected with the ICU, the family will now stick to the bill, even if the patient is not capable of being vaccinated,” Kao- Dr. Ping said. Chua is a pediatrician at the University of Michigan studying the cost of treating Covid.
Covid’s average hospitalization cost is about $ 40,000 Researcher discovered..Long-term hospitalization — those that require time in the intensive care unit, or Travel by ambulance — Can cost many times more. Most insureds do not pay the full amount. They face shares that are deductible and borrowed through out-of-pocket payments.
Dr. Chua and his colleagues Published studies The average cost of patients who had to pay part of Covid’s hospitalization this summer was $ 3,800.
“Some patients were $ 10,000 and some were $ 500,” he said. “It gives you some similarity to what things look like now without an exemption.”
Surprising charges for regular Covid testing can be lower, but more common, as schools and workplaces increasingly rely on regular screening to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
In many workplaces, unvaccinated workers must submit to monitoring at least weekly. Some employers, including the federal government, plan to fully cover the costs of these tests. However, other companies, including some hotels and universities, require unvaccinated workers to bear some or all of the cost of testing.
Rebecca Riley recently received a $ 200 invoice from a laboratory with an unfamiliar name. When she called to ask about the charges, she learned that it was a Covid test charge. The son of a high school student is regularly inspected at a high school in the Los Angeles area.
“I didn’t expect to receive an invoice,” she said. “I feel stupid, but I heard the test is free.”
Riley contacted the insurance company about the claim and agreed to pay the full amount. But she is currently worried about future surprise test bills. “I really feel the family I can’t afford,” she said.
Covid medical costs will soon increase
Source link Covid medical costs will soon increase