Two thirds don't understand how insurance covers COVID-19 — study

64% couldn't pay their deductible if hospitalized for the virus

Two thirds don't understand how insurance covers COVID-19 — study

Life & Health

By Ryan Smith

More than two thirds of individual and family health insurance enrollees feel they lack a basic understanding of how testing and treatment of COVID-19 would be covered by their insurance plan, according to a new study by eHealth.

Sixty-four per cent (64%) say they could not afford to pay their full annual deductible if hospitalized for COVID-19, the study found.

“Health insurance enrollees may find some comfort in knowing that the new coronavirus is covered much like any other illness by their major medical health plan,” said eHealth CEO Scott Flanders. “Most will find that testing for the virus is covered with no out-of-pocket cost. Unfortunately, our survey finds that many will struggle to pay their full deductible if hospitalized for treatment of the virus. We encourage consumers to familiarize themselves with the details of their coverage now and contact their insurer or licensed agent with questions or concerns.”

Other highlights of eHealth’s survey include:

  • Politics divides public response to the outbreak: 34% of likely Republican voters say they are not concerned about the coronavirus, compared to 13% of likely Democratic voters. Thirty-eight pe cent (38%) of likely Republican voters express high confidence in the government’s response to the outbreak, as opposed to just 6% of likely Democratic voters
  • The college-educated and affluent are more easily able to make lifestyle adjustments as a result of the outbreak. Fifty-two per cent (52%) of college graduates and 60% of those with incomes of $100,000 to $150,000 said that their jobs allowed them to work from home, as opposed to 19% of those with a high school education and 36% of those earning less than $25,000 a year

“For more than 20 years, eHealth has been dedicated to bringing people peace of mind in the face of uncertain future medical expenses, and our hearts go out to all of those directly impacted by the coronavirus, especially the elderly and more vulnerable,” Flanders said. “We’re more dedicated to our mission than ever, and we encourage all our fellow Americans to pull together, look out for one another and find a common cause as we face this new challenge.”

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