While the government and insurance companies have promised to pay for much of coronavirus testing and treatment, experts say that because of the fragmented nature of the situation, loopholes abound. Many sufferers have been slapped with hefty medical bills, adding even more burden to their already fragile state. Since the laws governing the testing and treatment of COVID-19 are changing rapidly, insurance companies are having a tough time keeping up and many items that are said to be covered are falling through the cracks.
According to NBC News, many patients are receiving bills even after they've been told costs would be waived. Here are five key areas where insurance companies may surprise you with charges:
Those people infected early in the pandemic may find it hard to prove their illness was was virus-related.
Insurers cover the cost of the actual test, but they may not cover all the costs that accompany testing.
Those affected later in the pandemic and still can't get tested may also find it hard to prove they have the virus.
Insurance does not always cover the cost of experimental or unapproved drugs and procedures.
If you don't have insurance, you may still be billed for testing and treatment despite federal assurances.
On March 18, President Donald Trump signed legislation requiring private insurers to waive testing costs with state authorities also stepping in, reports NBC News. And he announced that hospitals and healthcare providers treating uninsured coronavirus patients will be reimbursed by the federal government during an April 3 White House briefing.
However, one woman in San Diego received a $1,500 bill for a coronavirus test. She was erroneously told by the hospital that while federal legislation made tests free, it didn't cover the uninsured. Such snags exist, and could take days or weeks to rectify.
On the plus side, many insurance companies have announced that they are voluntarily eliminating copayments and deductibles for some treatment.
America's Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) has gathered information about what private insurers are doing for COVID-19 patients, outlining exactly what is covered and what's not.
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