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The Hidden Costs of Long COVID: How it Can Affect Your Health Insurance and Finances

The Hidden Costs of Long COVID: How it Can Affect Your Health Insurance and Finances

woman with long covid and mask looking outside

As of now, long-term COVID has already affected 25 million Americans. If you analyze the consequences, you can follow similar trends as during the Great Recession. Such a nationwide pandemic caused trillions of dollars in damage to the country’s economy.

The medical system suffered no less. Total costs exceeded 500 billion dollars. These costs are relative because symptoms vary from person to person and can persist for a long time. Below, we will discuss the disease’s long-term impact on health insurance and the financial status of each citizen.

How to Protect Yourself from Negative Consequences?

According to current research, long-term coronavirus disease can be a challenge. Payers and those who provide various services need to be ready for this. Against the background of a long lockdown and financial crisis, the fraudsters may become more active.

They can gain unauthorized access to your social security number. If they try to issue a loan in your name, it can add costs to an already challenging financial environment. To prevent this, you can use credit monitoring to follow your report regularly.

You can make insurance against the theft of your data. Besides, you may extrapolate your actions in the credit account to have a clearer vision of the future balance. After you register with the financial monitor, you can automatically receive notifications whenever suspicious signs of activity appear.

It is good to manage the balance independently, but there are cases when speed and preemptive actions are critical. It is where credit monitoring will come in handy.

Health Insurance and COVID

Understanding the insurance system is often confusing, even when it comes to known and established problems. Prolonged COVID is a relatively new illness with unpredictable symptoms that last an undefined amount of time.

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Patients are forced to visit hospitals more often and take more drugs depending on the course of the virus. According to statistics, more than half of patients with long-term coronavirus could not avoid increased medical expenses. About 13% of patients noted that they felt significant financial devastation after a long illness.

Coronavirus has affected millions of Americans. Thus, it has become a common case to contact insurance companies. Health insurance has developed a thorough plan for how to cover long-term COVID-19.

The social insurance representatives have decided to use the same approach as in the treatment of fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome. With such diagnoses, insurance coverage depended on the specific policy of the citizen. It could be included or missed in the main list.

Challenges Reported in Connection with long COVID

Long-term COVID studies by the Patient Insight Institute showed that most of the patients suffered from the disease in an average form of severity. 20% of them visited the doctor’s office. Cough, chest pain, headache, change in taste and smell, and fatigue prevailed among the symptoms. According to the research, 98% of patients confirmed that they had financial challenges due to their illness. 61% of respondents reported a decrease in quality of life.

long covid financial impact graph

Source

48% of citizens increased medical expenses, and 33% had a need to increase nonmedical expenditures. At the same time, 36% lost their income because they could not go to work. About 26% of respondents increased their caregiving burden. 22% experienced disruption due to inadequate or absent care during their COVID-19. Consequently, 13% of people made changes to their insurance policy to secure more treatment during long illnesses.

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Options for Unemployed Patients with COVID

According to studies, about 3-4 million employees could not go to full-time work due to the average or severe course of the coronavirus disease. Many of them lost their main job and therefore did not have the opportunity to use insurance from their employer. Here are some solutions to find support for those with long-term COVID.

Enhance Workplace Insurance

Those companies that have more than 20 employees on staff provide insurance through the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act or COBRA. This law states that even if you lose your job, you can still use the insurance for the next 18 months.

In some cases, if the employees have suffered from a long COVID, they can be recognized as disabled and receive insurance from the employer for another 11 months.

Use the Insurance of Your Relative

One can join a family member insurance policy within a month of losing the job. Persons who are not yet 26 years old can get insurance through the company where the spouse or one of the parents works.

Use a Public Exchange

All patients suffering from long-term COVID receive insurance from the Affordable Care Act’s marketplace. After becoming unemployed, they can register there for 60 days and benefit from health insurance.

Enroll in Medicaid

If you lost your job and this led to a significant impoverishment of your family, you are allowed to register for Medicaid. It includes full public insurance. Eligibility for the program depends on your current income.

If a person has received disability status based on the long-term coronavirus, they can benefit from Medicare automatically. Participation is also possible for those who are younger than 65 years old. Seniors can also qualify for Medicare, which can be the most beneficial solution.

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Bottom Line

Even if your financial well-being has not been affected by your COVID-19 outbreak, ensure you have comprehensive health insurance. It should be reliable and generous with available prescription drugs.

It is important to check your coverage and evaluate the treatment options, as well as the range of providers that service your package. For example, many long-term COVID survivors are not limited to a single medication. Some of them will need the help of mental health professionals.

There is still little research on the coronavirus disease. So, insurers may deny extensive coverage. The task of you as a customer is to win it back and protect your rights in order to maintain your financial status at a decent level.

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