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Some health insurers ending waivers for COVID-19 treatment fees

Posted at 11:38 PM, Apr 27, 2021

As states lift some COVID-19 restrictions and airlines put passengers in the middle seat again, it appears some health insurers are ending their pandemic-era waivers for COVID-19 treatment fees.

Some voluntarily waived deductibles, copayments and other costs for insured patients who contracted COVID-19.

This meant if someone became very sick and needed to stay in the hospital or get emergency care, full coverage from the insurance company would kick-in sooner before a person may have reached their deductible amount on their health insurance plan.

A study by the Kaiser Family Foundation found about 88% of people who had insurance plans last summer had policies that waived fees or copayments for COVID-19 treatments. However, by November, many of those waivers were set to expire at the end of 2020.

According to the foundation, a few insurers did end their waivers at the end of 2020 or early 2021, including Anthem, UnitedHealth, and Aetna.

In Michigan last week, state officials and health insurers operating in that state agreed to extend a deal waiving out-of-pocket costs for COVID-19 treatments, visits and COVID-19 medications.

Even as some fees may be making a return, COVID-19 testing and vaccinations will still be free for every American, according to a federal law requiring insurers to waive costs for those two procedures.