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Old 03-20-2020, 09:51 PM
Xavier Breath is offline
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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?
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Old 03-23-2020, 12:33 PM
Xavier Breath is offline
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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?
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Old 03-23-2020, 06:55 PM
Mdcastle is offline
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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.
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Old 03-23-2020, 08:06 PM
RioRico is offline
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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?
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Old 03-23-2020, 08:22 PM
nearwildheaven is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mdcastle View Post
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.
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Old 03-24-2020, 02:24 AM
actualliberalnotoneofthose is offline
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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.
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Old 03-24-2020, 02:35 AM
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Originally Posted by nearwildheaven View Post
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.
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Old 03-24-2020, 10:24 AM
JcWoman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mdcastle View Post
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.
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