Americans treated for coronavirus in a hospital can be affected with medical bills of $ 20,000.
A Kaiser Family Foundation report says American adults may face such astronomical bills even if they are looking for insurance coverage and out-of-pocket expenses.
Patients suffering from complications can look at a nearly $ 20,300 tab, but someone who is hospitalized and has no complications should pay nearly $ 10,000.
Without thousands of sick people across the U.S. hospitalized, doctors and nurses worry that as soon as they are discharged, they will be able to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in surprising medical bills.
In the US, there are more than 59,000 confirmed cases of the virus and more than 800 deaths.
Researchers looked at claims filed by Americans who were hospitalized in 2018 with pneumonia, a complication of COVID-19. Pictured: EMTs take a patient to an ambulance while the coronavirus outbreak continues, New York City, March 24
People with serious complications paid an average of $ 20,292 for treatment with a combination of insurance and out-of-pocket costs. Pictured: Medical personnel treat a woman shortly after arriving at a coronavirus mobile test in The Villages, Florida, March 23
For those without complications, their own costs averaged $ 1,464. Pictured: Doctors transport an ambulance patient to Kirkland’s Life Care Center – the epicenter of business in Washington State – on March 24
For the report, the team looked at the typical costs for a patient admitted to a hospital for pneumonia, one of the most serious complications of COVID-19.
Researchers analyzed data from the IBM MarketScan Commercial Claims and Encounters database of claims, including claims from 18 million people who were under employer plans in 2018.
The team only included claims for people under the age of 65 because those who are older are usually covered by Medicare.
They found that people with serious complications, when paid by a combination of insurance and equity, paid an average of $ 20,292 for treatment.
For minor complications, patients paid an average of $ 13,767, and those without complications paid about $ 9,763.
The researchers then looked at out-of-pocket expenses, including deductible contributions and cost-sharing, for hospital admissions for pneumonia.
For those without complications, their out-of-pocket costs averaged $ 1,464 and those averaged $ 1,365 for those with minor complications.
The authors of the report warn Americans to be aware of surprising billing.
“It’s essentially two situations,” said Matthew Rae, deputy director of the Healthcare Marketplace Project at the Kaiser Family Foundation. Yahoo Money.
“One is to go to hospitals in the network. You’ve done your research, you’ve found a hospital that’s in your network of providers, and then you end up with a provider that’s not part of your network. ‘
Rae said that even if a hospital is networked, certain staff members such as radiologists may not be.
This can lead to balance billing, which occurs when a healthcare provider bills a patient for the difference between the total cost of services and the amount the insurance pays.
“If you get a balance, it’s usually much higher costs,” Rae told Yahoo Money.
“And these accounts can be very expensive for people and, most importantly, these are financial protections built into your insurance plan. So out-of-pocket ceilings don’t apply to expenses. ‘
On Wednesday, Aetna announced that it would waive hospital bills, including co-pays and out-of-pocket costs, for members treated for COVID-19.
Cigna and UnitedHealthcare told Yahoo Money that they would waive the cost of testing, but not necessarily treatment.