Uninsured COVID-19 Patients Wait Anxiously For Trump Administration To Release Treatment Coverage Plan
Delays in guidance from the Trump administration about how to pay for COVID-19 care have patients and hospitals worried about being on the hook for potentially massive costs. Meanwhile, workers who lost jobs because of the pandemic struggle to find affordable coverage.
White House Still Scrambling To Cover Virus Treatment For The Uninsured
The White House pledged over two weeks ago to cover coronavirus treatment for uninsured Americans — but the administration still doesn't have a plan for how to do it. Trump officials are still grappling with key questions about how exactly to implement the treatment fund, including how to determine if a patient qualifies for the new federal dollars, an administration source said. Adding to the challenge, they’re still figuring out how to divvy up funding that hospitals and physicians say is desperately needed. (Luthi and Roubein, 4/20)
The Washington Post:
First, The Coronavirus Pandemic Took Their Jobs. Then, It Wiped Out Their Health Insurance.
Gary Easley was worried as he took a bus to the pharmacy at West Virginia Health Right, a free clinic that has stood for decades in Charleston, W.Va. Normally, he goes to Walgreens and Kroger to get the nine prescriptions he relies on for his high blood pressure and high cholesterol, diabetes and mood swings, leg pain and lung trouble. (Goldstein, 4/18)
And in other health costs news —
Kaiser Health News:
In Fine Print, HHS Appears To Ban All Surprise Billing During The Pandemic
Federal officials offering emergency funding to hospitals, clinics and doctors’ practices have included this stipulation: They cannot foist surprise medical bills on COVID-19 patients. But buried in the Department of Health and Human Services’ terms and conditions for eligibility is language that could carry much broader implications. It says “HHS broadly views every patient as a possible case of COVID-19,” the guidance states. (Huetteman, 4/17)
Kaiser Health News:
‘An Arm And A Leg’: Am I Protected If I Need COVID-19 Care?
A lot of insurance companies have said they’ll waive copayments and deductibles for COVID-19 care — as long as patients receive “in-network” care. But a lot of people have insurance policies with very limited networks. A podcast listener in Minnesota with a bronze-tier health plan and a $6,000 deductible wrote in wondering: What if I get sent to a place that my insurance doesn’t cover? What then? We put her question to one of the country’s top health insurance nerds: Sabrina Corlette, founder and co-director of Georgetown University’s Center on Health Insurance Reforms. (Weissmann, 4/20)