Beware: financial cushion for virus growing thin

Now that there's a vaccine for COVID-19, health insurers are putting the burden of COVID care on their customers

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Columnists

September 17, 2021 - 2:18 PM

A COVID-19 patient in an ICU in December. (Francine Orr/Los Angeles Times/TNS)

Health insurance companies have been shielding many customers from out-of-pocket “cost-sharing” expenses like deductibles, coinsurance, and copayments for Covid-related medical care. But that safety cushion is disappearing, increasing your direct financial risk from the disease. 

Now that vaccines have proven safe and effective at mitigating Covid, insurers are shifting costs back onto customers, including large insurers here in Kansas like Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas and Blue KC.  

Testing and vaccines will continue to have no out-of-pocket costs under federal law, but other services will trigger customer cost-sharing. 

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