Taking unreported cases into account, it is likely that there have now been well over three million cases of coronavirus worldwide.
The health risks that this disease poses are huge. However, it also presents significant financial difficulties, for a number of reasons.
If you’re worried about contracting the coronavirus, you may well also be wondering whether your health insurance will cover you in this situation.
Read on as we look at what you can expect.
What Is the Coronavirus?
The novel coronavirus (also known as COVID-19) is a contagious and potentially fatal respiratory disease that is spreading across the world.
Having originated in China, cases of the virus have been confirmed in almost every country on earth.
Symptoms of the virus include a dry cough, fever, difficulty breathing, pains and aches, shakes, chills, and loss of taste or smell.
Most people who contract the virus will have only mild symptoms. Many people may not even require medical attention, and may be able to recover at home.
For a significant minority, however, the coronavirus can mean severe illness, and even death. People at risk of acute illness from the virus usually have an underlying condition.
Relevant conditions include heart disease, diabetes, liver disease, and high blood pressure. Older people are also at risk, particularly those over the age of 70.
Does My Health Insurance Cover the Coronavirus?
A question many people are asking at the moment is whether their health insurance policy will cover expenses associated with the coronavirus.
There is no straightforward answer to this question. Whether your expenses are covered will depend on your provider and the particulars of your policy, as well as the treatment you require.
While co-payments have been abolished in some cases, they still apply in many others.
Many of America’s private health insurers have agreed to waive the charges associated with a coronavirus test. However, not all have agreed to cover the cost of caring for those that are sick.
Also, while the test itself may be covered, there is no guarantee that out-of-pocket expenses in relation to it (like travel expenses, for example) will be.
Nearly all private health insurance plans cover hospitalization and hospital stays. This applies to coronavirus as it would to another illness.
However, insurers have not changed co-payment arrangements for hospital stays in response to the virus outbreak. People on different plans will have to pay different amounts for their care.
For a detailed explanation of the coverage you are (or are not) entitled to, you will have to contact your provider.
Another question that has arisen is that of COVID-19 and life insurance.
Firstly, is it possible to get life insurance coverage at this time? There are a number of issues to consider.
While many offices have closed down, insurance companies are still operational. Agents can do a lot of their work remotely. Therefore, while the process might take longer, it should be possible to get a policy.
Secondly, if someone with life insurance cover dies at this time, is payment guaranteed?
Because of the high volume of deaths at this time, some people have expressed worries that life insurance funds will become unable to meet their obligations. However, these worries are misguided.
Life insurance firms have survived many economic and public health disasters in the past. Fund directors make investments that account for these kinds of shocks.
Will I Need to See a Doctor If I Have Symptoms?
People without health insurance, or with limited cover, may worry about the costs of seeing a doctor if they develop coronavirus symptoms.
As noted above, however, many coronavirus cases will not even require medical attention.
If you are worried about the severity of your symptoms, the first step is to call a doctor over the phone. Do not physically travel to make an appointment, as you will put others at risk.
Unless they feel that your case is reasonably advanced, a doctor will probably advise you to cocoon at home. They will instruct you to monitor your symptoms closely and to seek physical medical attention if you get worse.
What Kind of Treatment Might I Need If I Get the Coronavirus?
The first thing to remember is that you may not need treatment at all. As noted above, many people who contract the coronavirus will have only mild symptoms and will not require any medical intervention.
In this case, your health insurance will obviously not be relevant.
However, if your condition is more serious, there are a number of treatments doctors may administer to you.
Only the most serious cases require breathing assistance from a ventilator. This can be quite an invasive process and is therefore only used when no other viable options remain.
Should I Be Worried About the Coronavirus?
The coronavirus is a serious public health emergency. Everyone should have respect for it and adjust their behavior accordingly.
However, there is no need to be anxious or worried about the virus, especially if you do not have an underlying medical condition.
Remember, the vast majority of previously healthy people suffer only mild symptoms and make a full recovery.
If you do have an underlying health condition, you should take extra precautions. Avoid leaving your home unless it is essential.
Getting the Care You Need
The coronavirus is posing unprecedented challenges to people in our country and around the globe. However, with the right information on your side, you can keep yourself and your loved ones safe throughout this difficult time.
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