How Insurance coverage works in case of COVID-19 testing and treatment in the US?

Covid-19 pandemic threatens to rewrite history with human blood. And while earlier pandemics such as the Spanish Flu that killed over 5 million people worldwide between 1918 and 1920 had significantly higher mortality rate, the speed at which Covid-19 infection is spreading across the globe is quite unprecedented. The pandemic has left over 1 million people infected and 52,000 dead worldwide within just 4 months after it was first detected in Wuhan, China.

The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic not only threatens to cause physical hardship to individuals but also financial hardship to those who cannot afford treatment against the infection. Therefore, in countries like the US where a large section of the population depends on health insurance to meet the cost of healthcare expenditure, a number of health insurance companies come to the rescue of such individuals by extending medical cover for diseases like Covid-19.

In this blog, Student Cover explains how insurance works in case of Covid-19 testing and treatment in the US.

1. Proactive Actions – Health Insurance Companies like the United Healthcare (UHC) are advising its clients to contact the network providers of the company if they feel that they have been exposed to Covid-19 virus. They are also encouraging clients to visit their web pages and check mobile apps and has waived off access charges to those people, especially students when included with their UHCSR medical plan or at a co-pay of $40. They have also opened toll-free helpline numbers to provide counselling to those who are emotionally and psychologically affected by the pandemic.

2. Coverage of Covid-19 Testing – Under UHCSR insurance plans testing for Covid-19 will be covered under their plan. In addition to that, they have also decided to waive off cost-sharing conditions such as co-pay, co-insurance and deductibles subject to certain terms and conditions. They have also decided to cover ambulance charges and hence, insurance claims for ambulatory service availed by a patient to reach hospital for Covid-19 treatment will be treated as any other sickness.

3. Referral Requirement Waived Off – Some companies whose plans have referral requirement have waived off this condition in case of Covid-19 test or treatment. This is a significant step as it saves both time and cost. Apart from providing with above waiver, UHCSR has gone to the extent of assuring its clients that any genuine claim for Covid-19 treatment or diagnosis, which was earlier denied due to no referral, can also be appealed for reconsideration.

4. Treating Isolation as Treatment for Illness or Injury – Since most Covid-19 infections lead to mild symptoms and require a person to be quarantined, several insurance providers have decided to consider such isolation and supervised quarantine as treatment and have decided to bear the cost of such treatment, if done by a licensed, board certified or board eligible physician. Such treatment will be taken at par with any other treatment and hence, normal policy provisions and limitations will apply.

5. Coverage of Covid-19 Treatment – More and more health insurance providers are coming up with offers to cover the cost of treatment of Covid-19 pandemic subject to certain terms and conditions. This would provide much needed relief to clients who are already struggling financially due to the impact of coronavirus infection on US as well as global economy.

Let’s Wrap Up!

Due to unprecedented nature of the pandemic, a large number of insurance providers are offering their clients cover for testing as well as treatment for Covid-19 infection. This not only includes bearing the cost of diagnostic testing but also for treatment of the infection including isolation and quarantine under supervision of medical professionals. In addition to that, some insurance companies are taking proactive steps to provide support to its clients against any mental and psychological stress and anxiety that the pandemic may cause. Such actions will go a long way to help fight the pandemic which has infected over 1 million people and killed over 52,000 worldwide.

Disclaimer: The content of this blog is based on personal research of the writer. Readers discretion is advised. Neither Student Cover nor the writer will be held responsible for any wrongful interpretation of the content of this blog.

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