Americans all around the country could pay over $1,300 or more out of pocket for treatment of the COVID-19 if they’re hospitalized, according to Matthew Rae, a health analyst
Tuesday, health officials based that prediction off of the costs associated with hospitalization for pneumonia.
Health analysts say the cost for pneumonia treatment may not map exactly onto the costs for COVID-19 treatment.
This out of pocket expense would only apply to patients who are insured through employer plans, which tend to have low deductibles and be fairly generous.
Rae analyzed a database of insurance claims for people enrolled in employer insurance plans. He found that the total cost of treatments for people on those insurance plans who were hospitalized with severe pneumonia with complications was, on average, around $20,000-though it ranged from around $11,000 to around $24,000. Insurers covered most of that cost, but the out-of-pocket expense for most people usually reached or exceed $1,300.
Costs for pneumonia treatment may not map exactly onto the costs for COVID-19 treatment. It doesn’t include the costs of protective equipment and isolation.
Those things will make it more expensive, Rae says. He said it’s hard to estimate the costs because there isn’t much data in insurance claims databases that include them. This analysis would only apply to patients who are insured through employer plans, which tend to have low deductibles and be fairly generous.
People insured through the Affordable Care Act may face different out-of-pocket costs.
For those who aren’t insured, though, the cost could be significantly higher.
8 percent of Americans don’t have insurance.
Policies and legislation enacted in response to the pandemic might affect the costs of Covid-19 treatments.
Insurance companies have agreed to waive co-pays for testing, and the bill currently before Congress includes free testing, regardless of insurance status.
The White House said that insurance companies would cover the cost of treatment in full, but the insurance lobby clarified that they would not be doing so.
There will be no surprise medical bills associate with COVID-19 treatment, but analysts say they are unclear how that would work due to those charges made by hospitals and doctors.