By Consumers For Quality Care, on June 5, 2020
Steve Aberbach was shocked when the medical receptionist handed him two bills after his wife’s battle against COVID-19, reports ABC Tampa.
One of the bills was for the oxygen treatment his wife was given after doctors diagnosed her with pneumonia. But nine days after getting tested for COVID-19, her results came back positive. Aberbach says his wife spent a week in a medical facility battling the virus.
Despite thinking everything would be paid for, the Medicare recipients were hit with a $200 bill. While the bill is manageable, Aberbach says he’s concerned for what could be next.
The costs of COVID-19 have been more painful for others. One woman wrote in that her out-of-pocket costs to treat COVID-19 were just over $1,600. Her son, who was also hospitalized while seeking treatment, is facing a bill of more than $1,800.
The costs of COVID-19 treatment have been a surprise to both patients and health care experts alike.
Bob McKnight, a Florida insurance broker, explains how mistakes with billing codes are playing a role.
“If something isn’t coded correctly as something to do with COVID, then it will fall under your regular deductible and be out-of-pocket,” he said.
The Florida Department of Financial Services offers free help resolving claims. A spokesperson says they’ve already resolved one health care claim denial after an insurance specialist contacted the insurer on the consumer’s behalf.
Health care experts recommend asking for an itemized bill, reviewing your insurer’s explanation of benefits, and contacting your provider with any questions.
The woman who is facing nearly $4,000 of out-of-pocket costs between her and her son reached out to her provider. They are asking the hospital to recode its expenses with COVID-19 codes.
Meanwhile, Aberach is still waiting to hear from Medicare and his supplemental insurance provider.