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With infections still spreading, now is the time to remind clients of their right to ‘free’ treatment for COVID-19 infections.
If someone tests positive for coronavirus, it is important that they are fully aware of their health care rights under the CARES Act. Though medical bills aren’t always fully covered for an illness, COVID-19 coverages are different under the CARES Act. This even applies to those who are uninsured, as everyone is covered for COVID-19 illnesses by most major health systems.
Despite having full coverage available, hospitals and clinics are not legally obligated to present that information, which may lead to patients being unaware that they should not receive any bills for COVID-related illnesses. As a result, some patients do not seek appropriate care for fear of incurring medical bills.
In an article from CMS, the author covers a true story about a man who received a positive COVID-19 diagnosis but opted not to pursue treatment despite a steadily deteriorating condition. His decision to leave the hospital was due primarily to his not wanting to incur high medical bills, a decision that ultimately resulted in his death. His wife later discovered that the hospital would have covered everything.
Below is a direct quote from the article:
“TriStar, like most major health systems, participates in a program through the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services in which uninsured patients with COVID-19 have their bills covered. It was set up through the pandemic relief legislation known as the CARES Act.”
With coronavirus numbers rising, it’s important that you inform clients of their allowances surrounding COVID-19, and that if they receive a positive diagnosis, they should pursue treatment at all major hospital systems and should not be billed.