The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has impacted millions across the country, and Colorado has not been spared. Most health insurance companies have waived COVID-19 related costs, but the state’s complex health care system and uncertainty around medical care during the pandemic has created a noticeable increase in surprise bills for many Coloradans.
Even before the pandemic, research showed that more than half of Americans with employer-sponsored health insurance had delayed or postponed recommended treatment for themselves or a family member in 2020 due to cost. Now, as insurers continue to make billions while rolling back services like COVID-19 coverage, it has never been more crucial for Coloradans to take the time and examine what different health plans do and do not cover. Health insurance practices are changing, and Coloradans need to be prepared.
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With open enrollment beginning Nov. 1 for many Coloradans, it is vital that consumers be aware of the potential pitfalls that exist, including changes to COVID-19 coverage, surprise medical bills and junk health plans that fail to cover preexisting conditions. October marks Health Literacy Month, and Consumers for Quality Care is helping Americans to understand their options for selecting health insurance coverage and making sure they know the details of the health care plans they are selecting.
Already, insurance companies are changing their policies when it comes to COVID-19. Nearly three-quarters of the largest health plans across the country are ending their COVID-19 cost-sharing waivers, a move that will only harm patients. Health care costs are continuing to rise for Coloradans, with the Kaiser Family Foundation estimating that between 2 million to 3 million Americans lost their employer-based health insurance between March and September of 2020.
Consumers should not have to deal with crushing medical debt, especially during a pandemic that has caused unprecedented job loss and income reduction.
Consumers should not have to deal with crushing medical debt, especially during a pandemic that has caused unprecedented job loss and income reduction. It has never been more important to weigh the options and take considerable care when choosing a health plan. Telehealth has become a lifeline for many Americans during COVID-19, including those in Colorado. The Biden administration has invested $19 million to boost telehealth in rural and underserved areas like much of Colorado — an incredibly necessary move to remedy inequalities in the health care system exacerbated by the pandemic. Some insurers are already rolling back coverage for this essential tool, which has proven to …….