Many insurers will no longer waive all COVID costs

Most health insurance companies plan to stop waiving co-pays and deductibles for COVID treatment, but will still pay for vaccines.

For most of the pandemic, health insurance companies have had a policy of waiving all fees related to treatments for COVID-19 infections. That has included co-pays and deductibles that would normally be charged for treating other conditions.

That era is coming to an end for most of the major insurers in Michigan. That could mean thousands of dollars of out-of-pocket expenses for people who become infected with the coronavirus.

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A survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) found that 72% of major insurers polled had already stopped waiving fees tied to COVID-19 treatments, and another 10% planned to do so by the end of October.

Those planning to stop waiving fees include Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan (BCBSM), Priority Health, and HAP.

At the same time, those health insurers will continue to fund COVID-19 vaccines and hope to get more people inoculated against the coronavirus.

Most of those “that are in the hospital are those that are unvaccinated,” said Dr. James Grant, Senior VP and Chief Medical Officer for BCBSM, in an interview with WXYZ. “So if we can actually get to the unvaccinated, get them to realize the importance and safety of the vaccine, that’s how we’re going to beat this.”

[WXYZ, Peterson-KFF Health System Tracker]

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