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Health insurers step up to cover COVID-19 costs

There’s the health worry about contracting COVID-19. And then there’s the worry about how to pay for it, should the worst happen. Time recently shared the story of a Boston-area woman who contracted the coronavirus and recovered, only to face more than $35,000 in medical bills.

Those of us who live in Washington, Oregon, Idaho or Utah may be relieved to know that the major health insurers operating in those states have announced they will waive copays or otherwise cover a major portion of COVID-19 costs for their members.

In Washington State, The Seattle Times reports that three of the largest health insurers – Regence BlueShield, Kaiser Permanente, Premera Blue Cross and its subsidiary LifeWise Health of Washington – will waive any out-of-pocket treatments for COVID-19.

In Oregon, the Portland Business Journal reports that Regence will cover COVID treatment at no cost to members through June 30. Several other Oregon insurers have also agreed to pay the cost of testing and treatment. The same is true in Idaho and Utah. The federal government has also adopted changes allowing Medicare to cover more costs of COVID-19 testing and treatment.

Of course, it is always wise to check with your own health insurance plan to learn what COVID-19 costs are covered. Your state’s Department of Insurance is also a great information resource.

Voices for Affordable Health appreciates your personal stories. Have you or a loved one become sick with COVID-19? Please share your stories with us.