How to Deal with COVID-19 Medical Costs
Thanks to a law passed in the spring of 2020, most Americans can be tested for COVID-19 for free. But that law didn’t make treatment for the virus free. Read this article to find out about where you can be tested at no cost and ways of handling your bills for COVID-19 treatment:
- You can find free testing at a local community-based testing site or a no-cost testing location in your state. You can also be tested at a local health center.
- If you have health insurance, check with your plan to find out about treatment benefits. Some plans have removed out-of-pocket costs for COVID-19 treatment.
- If you don’t have health insurance and need help paying your hospital bills, ask the hospital if they take part in the CARES Act, which may cover your costs. You can also ask for financial help from your hospital, even if you have a health plan.
- Check your medical bills for mistakes, which happen often and can cost you money.
- Bargain with your provider for a lower bill if you can’t pay your costs for out-of-network care or you’re uninsured. Use our Cost Lookup Tool to get estimates of the typical costs in your area for the services you’ve had.
- If you can’t pay your health insurance premium because of hardship due to COVID-19, ask your insurance company if they’ll give you a later deadline for paying your premium or delay ending your coverage.
Getting Tested for COVID-19
The Families First Coronavirus Response Act, passed in the spring of 2020, said that private health insurance plans, and also Medicare and Medicaid, must pay for testing for COVID-19 infection without any cost to the patient. But, some health insurance plans will cover the cost of the test only if you have a referral from your doctor. Contact your health plan to find out what their policy is.
If you don’t have health insurance, you can be tested for free at a community-based testing site. On this site you can find a community-based testing site near you and learn where no-cost testing is available in your state. You can also be tested at a local health center. Find one near you on this site.