Straight Dope Message Board

Straight Dope Message Board (https://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/index.php)
-   The Quarantine Zone (https://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/forumdisplay.php?f=41)
-   -   Personal bankruptcies driven by COVID 19 healthcare costs (https://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=892212)

Xavier Breath 03-20-2020 09:51 PM

Personal bankruptcies driven by COVID 19 healthcare costs
 
Has anyone seen a projection of the number of personal bankruptcies that will come about due to COVID 19 healthcare costs? A couple of weeks in the ICU must cost around $500,000, well beyond most folks' capacity to pay. There are quite a few Americans without adequate health insurance, and plenty examples of hospital-bill "sticker shock."

A corollary--can / will insurance companies limit their coverage in a pandemic?

Xavier Breath 03-23-2020 12:33 PM

All righty then, let me take a slightly different approach to the OP--how worried are you that COVID 19 will wipe out your life savings?

Mdcastle 03-23-2020 06:55 PM

I fulfilled my responsibility to society and got insurance rather than shirking my obligation by assuming I was too young and healthy to get sick, with a $1500 deductible and $2000 OOP max I have zero worry about it wiping out my life savings.

Pandemics are not an exclusion on your contract with the insurance company so they won't and can't limit coverage.

Insurance companies are unlikely to go insolvent either. The have investments and reinsurance, people with coronovirus either get better (or die) fairly rapidly compared to the main drain on our healthcare system- old people with chronic conditions that are kept alive year after year, and a lot of risk is borne by companies that buy health insurance for their employees and opt to partially or totally self-insure.

RioRico 03-23-2020 08:06 PM

We are unlikely to go broke (famous last words) and anyway, we can always move in with the kids. We'll sleep in our little RV in their mountain driveway at worst.

Meanwhile, the global insurance industry claims readiness: Coronavirus Raises Insurance Questions But Catastrophe-Tested Insurers Are Prepared. Well, they may extend exclusions, and raise premiums, and fail totally - my last office employer, an insurer heavily covering losses from the Loma Prieta quake, got snapped up and shut down by a German behemoth.

I read that personal bankruptcy filings are skyrocketing while courts are shutting down to avoid contamination. Suppose you file but nothing happens because official quarantine - what then?

nearwildheaven 03-23-2020 08:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mdcastle (Post 22206424)
I fulfilled my responsibility to society and got insurance rather than shirking my obligation by assuming I was too young and healthy to get sick, with a $1500 deductible and $2000 OOP max I have zero worry about it wiping out my life savings.

Pandemics are not an exclusion on your contract with the insurance company so they won't and can't limit coverage.

Insurance companies are unlikely to go insolvent either. The have investments and reinsurance, people with coronovirus either get better (or die) fairly rapidly compared to the main drain on our healthcare system- old people with chronic conditions that are kept alive year after year, and a lot of risk is borne by companies that buy health insurance for their employees and opt to partially or totally self-insure.

Also, a sizable percentage of the COVID patients who are sick enough to be hospitalized are going to be 65-plus and therefore most likely on Medicare.

actualliberalnotoneofthose 03-24-2020 02:24 AM

Most people in the US have access to health insurance now with reasonable deductibles and lifetime maximums. In some places, this includes the ability to get Medicaid (and possibly disability income) retroactively.

Broomstick 03-24-2020 02:35 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by nearwildheaven (Post 22206578)
Also, a sizable percentage of the COVID patients who are sick enough to be hospitalized are going to be 65-plus and therefore most likely on Medicare.

Medicare isn't free. There are deductibles and "coinsurance" which are basically copays.

And you are incorrect about who is being hospitalized. 40% of people being hospitalized for covid in the US are under 50. Well, OK, sure a sizable percentage will be over 65, but not as sizable as I think you think it is.

JcWoman 03-24-2020 10:24 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mdcastle (Post 22206424)
I fulfilled my responsibility to society and got insurance rather than shirking my obligation by assuming I was too young and healthy to get sick, with a $1500 deductible and $2000 OOP max I have zero worry about it wiping out my life savings.

Do you have the kind of insurance that deals with in-network and out-of-network silliness? Because if you do, how do you expect to handle the situation where the hospital is in-network but the anesthesiologist and other specialists who work on you during your medical crisis are not? In my understanding, that's usually where people with "good" insurance get boned.


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 03:59 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@straightdope.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Copyright 2019 STM Reader, LLC.