What to Know About Health Insurance and Coronavirus


TIME MAGAZINE RECENTLY published a story about a woman who contracted the coronavirus. Her temperature spiked, her lungs filled with fluid and she needed to go to the emergency room three times. While she eventually improved, at least physically, when she received the medical bill she was stunned: It came to almost $35,000. When she got sick she was one of 27 million Americans without health insurance. So while her health improved, her personal finances may never recover – at least not for a long time.

Most people, thankfully, will never get that sick, and those with insurance will be covered. In fact, the federal government even boosted coverage in response to the coronavirus, or COVID-19. In March, Congress passed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, which requires most private health plans to cover testing for the coronavirus with no cost sharing during the emergency period. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, some states have passed similar requirements for insurers in their state, and many private insurance companies have voluntarily expanded coverage for testing.

The new law also requires health plans under the Affordable Care Act to cover coronavirus testing and to waive cost sharing and prior authorization. This requirement applies to visits in physician offices, urgent care centers and emergency rooms associated with testing, but does not apply to short-term plans, sharing ministries or certain Farm Bureau plans, according to KFF…Read more>>