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Uninsured patients hospitalized for COVID-19 could pay more than $70K

Posted at 7:28 AM, Aug 03, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-03 07:28:13-04

COVID-19 hospitalizations are rising in Florida. Lee Health reported 298 COVID-19 patients in their hospital on Monday. This begs the question: How much does it cost to be hospitalized with the virus?

A FAIR Health analysis found 15 to 20 percent of people with COVID-19 end up going to the hospital.

FAIR Health, an organization bringing transparency to health care costs, searched healthcare claim databases. They estimate the average cost of COVID-19 is $73,300 without insurance.

“That is very expensive if you don’t have insurance,” Oscar Chavez, an insurance agent, said.

FAIR Health reported privately insured patients pay about half the amount of those without insurance. They estimate hospital bills for insured patients rack up to $38,221. That number doesn’t factor in the cost-share provisions of an individual’s plan.

Chavez said having insurance is important right now. He said some people he works with don’t pay a dime.

“Some people don’t pay nothing. It all depends on your income,” Chavez said,

His customers haven’t experienced issues with getting their costs covered. He personally had COVID-19, and ended up getting treatment. Chavez had to pay his co-pay, but that’s all.

“In my case, I personally got COVID. I went to urgent care and they treated me. I paid my co-pay only. I have Florida Blue. They gave me all my prescriptions," he said.

Florida Blue said their employer health plans and Medicare Advantage members don’t have to pay out-of-pocket.

But, there is no specific cost for a coronavirus hospital stay. It's based on your plan's cost-sharing terms.