WDSU: COVID-19 hospitalizations average $4,000 in out-of-pocket costs per visit, research says

WDSU: COVID-19 hospitalizations average $4,000 in out-of-pocket costs per visit, research says. “Measures to protect patients hospitalized with COVID-19 from financial liability have been rolled back by most insurers in the United States, leaving the vast majority of patients with an average out-of-pocket bill of about $4,000 for each hospital stay, according to research published this week in the journal JAMA Network Open. Between March 2020 and January 2021, less than 9% of patients with private health care insurance had any cost-sharing associated with COVID-19 hospitalization. By March 2021, more than 84% of patients with private insurance had some financial responsibility for a COVID-19 hospitalization.”

USA Today: Free COVID home tests for everyone? Here’s why Medicare, veterans’ insurance are excluded

USA Today: Free COVID home tests for everyone? Here’s why Medicare, veterans’ insurance are excluded. “The Biden administration’s mandate that began Jan. 15 calls for those with private health insurance to get a monthly allotment of free tests. Yet health experts say the ambitious federal plan to quickly extend home testing will be challenging because of the nation’s fragmented health care system.”

Ivermectin Rx for COVID-19: Insurance coverage doesn’t match evidence (University of Michigan)

University of Michigan: Ivermectin Rx for COVID-19: Insurance coverage doesn’t match evidence. “Even though clinical trials haven’t shown it works against COVID-19, doctors continue to prescribe ivermectin – and a new study suggests health insurers are heavily subsidizing the cost of those prescriptions. The study’s authors call for insurers to align their coverage of the drug with the level of medical evidence surrounding it — just like they do for other medications, tests and procedures.”

AXA XL: AXA XL launches new Coastal Risk Index

AXA XL: AXA XL launches new Coastal Risk Index. “The CRI has been developed in partnership with AXA’s scientific partners, IHE Delft (Netherlands) and University of California, Santa Cruz (USA) and the Government of Canada through the Ocean Risk and Resilience Action Alliance (ORRAA). It assesses coastal flooding in the context of climate change by comparing scenarios with and without coastal ecosystems, such as coral reefs and mangroves, helping to build the case for nature-based solutions.”

CBS News: Louisiana health system charging workers $200 for unvaccinated spouses

CBS News: Louisiana health system charging workers $200 for unvaccinated spouses. “Ochsner Health, the largest nonprofit health care system in Louisiana, announced it will charge workers an additional $200 per month to insure their unvaccinated spouses or partners covered by the hospital group’s insurance policies, citing the high cost of caring for and treating patients with COVID-19.”

Seattle Times: The days of full COVID coverage are over. Insurers are restoring deductibles and copays, leaving patients with big bills

Seattle Times: The days of full COVID coverage are over. Insurers are restoring deductibles and copays, leaving patients with big bills. “Jamie Azar left a rehab hospital in Tennessee last week with the help of a walker after spending the entire month of August in the ICU and on a ventilator. She had received a shot of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine in mid-July but tested positive for the coronavirus within 11 days and nearly died. Now Azar, who earns about $36,000 a year as the director of a preschool at a Baptist church in Georgia, is facing thousands of dollars in medical expenses that she can’t afford.”

CNBC: Delta Air Lines is raising health insurance premiums for unvaccinated employees by $200 a month to cover higher Covid costs

CNBC: Delta Air Lines is raising health insurance premiums for unvaccinated employees by $200 a month to cover higher Covid costs. “Delta Air Lines CEO Ed Bastian notified employees Wednesday that they will face $200 monthly increases on their health insurance premiums starting Nov. 1 if they aren’t vaccinated against Covid-19, citing steep costs to cover employees who are hospitalized with the virus.”

Health System Tracker: Most private insurers are no longer waiving cost-sharing for COVID-19 treatment

Health System Tracker: Most private insurers are no longer waiving cost-sharing for COVID-19 treatment. “In the last few months, the environment has shifted with safe and highly effective vaccines now widely available. In this brief, we once again review how many private insurers are continuing to waive patient cost sharing for COVID-19 treatment. We find that 72% of the two largest insurers in each state and DC (102 health plans) are no longer waiving these costs, and another 10% of plans are phasing out waivers by the end of October.”

AP: In crosshairs of ransomware crooks, cyber insurers struggle

AP: In crosshairs of ransomware crooks, cyber insurers struggle. “Before ransomware evolved into a full-scale global epidemic plaguing businesses, hospitals, schools and local governments, cyber insurance was a profitable niche industry. It was accused of fueling the criminal feeding frenzy by routinely recommending that victims pay up, but kept many from going bankrupt. Now, the sector isn’t just in the criminals’ crosshairs. It’s teetering on the edge of profitability, upended by a more than 400% rise last year in ransomware cases and skyrocketing extortion demands. As a percentage of premiums collected, cyber insurance payouts now top 70%, the break-even point.”