Most insurance companies no longer fully covering COVID-19 medical treatment

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Posted at 8:57 AM, Jan 18, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-18 09:57:04-05

During the public health emergency, if you were being treated for COVID-19, most insurance companies covered your COVID-19 related medical costs fully.

Health insurance advocate Sadie Tuescher says those now seeking COVID-19 medical treatment will be considered like any other medical visit and there's a good chance you'll get a bill.

"So, now we're seeing across the board, all but two percent of insurance companies for 2022 and beyond are not going to be covering that," said Tuescher, with Wisconsin Health Insurance Advocate, LLC.

Tuescher explains as of January 1 most insurance companies are now applying what's called cost-sharing to COVID-19 treatments. So if you have COVID-19 and need to be hospitalized, that means your deductible, copay or coinsurance comes into play for your medical treatment rather than it being covered 100% by your health insurance company.

"Now going in for COVID-19 treatment is just as if you went in for any other condition, just as if you had a heart attack or whatnot, you would have your full cost-sharing," she explained.

"The vaccine availability and the fact that vaccines are covered at 100 percent by almost all insurance, there are a couple of policies that don't, but most of them, is definitely a contributing factor to this," she said.

Anyone who is uninsured has to see if their medical provider will agree tobill the federal government for COVID-19 treatment.

When it comes to COVID-19 testing coverage, the government is still picking up the tab for those with or without insurance.

Those uninsured have to go to a state-funded testing site.

Click hereto find a COVID-19 community testing site in your Wisconsin county.

What's new in 2022 is that if you have private health insurance your insurance company will now have to cover the cost of eight at-home COVID-19 tests per month.

Tuescher says testing coverage is limited for those who have a short-term medical policy.

"That rarely includes testing, immunizations. Some, at this point, are not covering COVID-19 treatment at all. They are specifically excluding pandemic conditions," she said.

As far as COVID-19 vaccines, they continue to be free for anyone living in the United States with or without insurance.

The CDCstresses clinics, pharmacies or medical providers can't charge you for an office visit or an administration fee if all you did was get a COVID vaccine.