Medical Bills From the Coronavirus Pandemic
Congress passed three bills where it directed its efforts to the most economic and health concerns from the coronavirus. However, congress has failed to address the following need that will follow afterwards. This means many Marylanders will have astronomically medical bills for coronavirus medical treatment.
The first legislation congress has passed only addressed a small cost for coronavirus care and preventing financial constraints for testing. The other two bills made it mandatory for medical insurance to cover coronavirus testing and medical visits where the patient would not have to pay for any costs. In addition, it provided the same for vaccine and future preventive care if it is out there. The Federal government took some worthy steps, but it is not enough.
Congress did not address that the medical debts that many Marylanders will be facing for medical treatment when being infected with the coronavirus disease. Hundreds of Thousand of Americans have tested positive for the virus, and it continues to grow at an exponential rate. There are figures out there showing that the estimates for medical cost of intensive care inpatient for coronavirus treatment can be from $20,000.00 to above $70,0000. Many patients will have a huge medical expense whether health insurance will cover or not due to the high deductibles some plans have. At the same time, many people have lost their jobs at an astronomical rate.
The American people as well as Marylander have to deal with cost sharing of medical bills where other countries would cover the entire amount meaning Marylanders are still responsible for the medical bills when it comes to being treated for the coronavirus. Beside those who have health insurance, there are those who do not have health insurance from work to cover the medical bills for contracting the coronavirus disease. For those who purchase their health plan through an Affordable Care Act (ACA), the average annual deductible can be upwards to $6,000.00 and can be more than double for family plans.
For people who have health insurance from their employer, over 50% have an annual deductible about $1,000 for one person, and for a family the annual deductible is $5,000.00. Even after the deducible is used, insured are still liable for their share of the medical bills.
The cost of medical care is much higher compared to other nations. Further, what can financially prejudice an individual when it comes to uses medical treatment is the high price for out-of-network for medical treatment. This can cause severe financial hardship on a person and their family. Insurance companies negotiate prices with in-network providers which provide for a much lower price for the insurance companies.
For a non-emergency, some people can use out-of-network care unbeknownst to them. The hospital might be within the in-network but the hospital uses a doctor who is out-network or transported by an ambulance that is out-of-network, etc. You see the point. One can estimate, should a patient have pneumonia with complications admitted as in-network, then 18% has led to out-of-network bill. Also, if an in-network hospital reaches capacity, then one would have no choice, but to use out-of-network hospital. There is no way to protect yourself from surprise medical bills.
Lastly, there is a lack of insurance within 10% of the population under 65 years old. Many remain uninsured. If these people cannot afford to pay insure, they cannot pay for medical treatment.
Keep in mind, that older patients are more likely to use intensive care even though this segment of the population is covered by Medicare beneficiaries. Most retirees are on fixed incomes and cannot afford cost sharing of medical treatment at a hospital. Many times their income does not cover to pay the necessities.
The third relief bill is the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The Federal government provided some aid for families through temporary relief and some unemployment support during the covid-19 pandemic. The temporary relief may help people with the basic necessities such as food and housing for at most a month. People do not have the money to pay for unanticipated medical treatment due to the covid-19 disease.
If you or your family is facing significant mountains of medical debts, your best alternative to talk to a bankruptcy attorney to see if filing bankruptcy is the best decision for you and your family. You can call the Soubra Law Firm at 301-219-5038 or fill out the form with your information to discuss bankruptcy options.