With a record 3.3 million people filing for unemployment due to the Chinese coronavirus pandemic – the largest number of claims ever recorded in a single week since October, 1982 – millions of Americans stand to lose their employer-sponsored health insurance when they might need it the most, according to Bloomberg.
According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, almost half of Americans receive healthcare coverage through their employer – forcing those who have been laid off to scramble for alternatives. Anyone suffering from a lack of income who has been covering their own plans, including small business owners and self-employed individuals, are also undoubtedly feeling the heat right now as well.
A test is required to determine whether a person has Covid-19, the disease the new coronavirus causes. Serious cases can send people to the emergency room and in some cases to the intensive care unit, a costly out-of-pocket expense.
There are fallbacks for people who find themselves out of work. A program known as Cobra allows some to continue to purchase the insurance they had through their employer, though typically at a much higher out-of-pocket cost. Some may be eligible for Medicaid. And the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is considering reopening the Affordable Care Act exchanges; generally, those health plans can be purchased only during an open-enrollment period late in the year. -Bloomberg
The sword cuts both ways as well – as private insurers who carefully calculate premiums based on anticipated annual expenses are about to get slammed with a spike in expenses out of left field, according to the report.
CVS Health Corp, which acquired insurer Aetna in 2018, described the oncoming train in a Thursday regulatory filing – saying that the situation is developing rapidly and that the damage to their business will depend on the severity and duration …
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