Almost three quarters of insurers charge fees or co-pays for COVID-19 insurance coverage

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An infection leading to hospitalization will now be more expensive to policyholders than it used to be.

COVID-19 insurance coverage in a case of hospitalization will now come at a higher price even to those with a health plan due to increased co-pays and fees when compared to earlier in the pandemic.

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The Kaiser Family Foundation recorded that fewer insurers are waiving out of pocket costs.

Researchers from the Kaiser Family Foundation determined that early in the pandemic, 88 percent of the largest American insurers voluntarily waved COVID-19 insurance out of pocket costs for hospitalizations. However, since then, the situation has undergone a dramatic change. The researchers found that of those insurers that had been waiving the out-of-pocket expenses, 72 percent are now charging co-pays and fees to people hospitalized with the coronavirus.

“People who are hospitalized with COVID 19, most of which are preventable with the free vaccines, will face out of pocket costs,” said Krutika Amin of the Kaiser Family Foundation. Moreover, a recent WSBTV report pointed out that it doesn’t take long for those costs to run up. According to their calculations, the average hospital stay for someone infected with COVID-19 comes with a price tag of $20,000. Of that, an estimated $1,300 is paid for by the patient.

COVID-19 insurance - Patient in ICU

That said, longer stays can lead to even higher COVID-19 insurance bills for co-pays and fees.

Among patients who find themselves dealing with tougher infections and longer hospital stays, the bills can skyrocket. It isn’t unheard of for a hospital bill to be higher than $1 million, and health plan carriers find themselves wondering how much of that total bill will end up being charged to them. This can lead even people who have a good health plan to face serious financial challenges.

The Kaiser Family Foundation researchers calculated that the hospital bills for unvaccinated COVID-19 patients broke the $2 billion mark in June and July 2021 alone. Unvaccinated patients made up the vast majority of the patients who were hospitalized with the virus during those two months. Now that vaccination has been available for several months, most major health insurers have stopped waving the COVID-19 insurance costs that would otherwise have been out of pocket.

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