In The Midst Of Coronavirus, Consumers Must Know Their Rights

By Consumers For Quality Care, on April 13, 2020

In The Midst Of Coronavirus, Consumers Must Know Their Rights

The coronavirus is a global health crisis that is putting a strain on our health care resources. During the crisis, it is possible we will experience a rationing of care as the system is overwhelmed treating coronavirus patients.

During a time like this, it is more important than ever to know your health care rights. Fox 11 Los Angeles is out with a new report on what every consumer needs to know to protect themselves.

The first thing consumers should keep in mind is that if they are not insured, they may still be able to enroll for coverage in 2020. Normally, there is an earlier deadline to enroll in coverage for the current year, but due to the coronavirus, some states have extended the deadline.

Something else every consumer has the right to during the crisis is talking to your doctor without leaving your home. In many states, insurers have been ordered to start covering “telehealth” services by reimbursing doctors for remote consultation at the same rate as an in-person visit.

If you believe you may be sick with coronavirus, you should also know that in many states, insurers have been ordered to completely cover the cost of testing. If you are denied a request for medically necessary testing, state insurance departments usually have resources to facilitate an appeal of that decision.

Watchdog groups say that even in better times when there is not a pandemic to worry about, it is good to know your health care rights as a consumer.

“Even in the best of times it’s important to know your health care rights because sometimes the insurance companies and the doctors don’t get it right and you need someone to intervene,” said Jerry Flanigan from Consumer Watchdog.

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