The Costs of Covid-19: What Health Plans & Employers Are Saying About Covering Care | WTF Health

from The Health Care Blog at on March 31, 2020 at 07:00PM


“[Employers’] top priority is getting their employees and their family members the appropriate care, but there are a lot of unknowns about how this is going to impact their actual total cost of care…”

As Covid-19 testing and treatment rise in U.S., many people — and their employers — may be starting to wonder: who is going to pay for this? How much is this going to cost?

Castlight Health’s CEO, Maeve O’Meara, talks to us about all-things healthcare cost, coverage and benefits administration, drawing from her position leading a company that focuses on helping people make sense of the health insurance benefits they receive through their employers or directly from health plans. 

What has employers and health plans most concerned? Making sure people are aware of changes to their plans so they know what’s covered (and what’s not), and when and where to go for care are the top of the list, according to Maeve.

Castlight’s recent publication of a ‘Covid19 Cost Analysis Report’ (link below) supports that point, outlining the variances in costs for Covid-19 testing and related fees. The key takeaway to note: While fees may be waived for the Covid-19 test itself, supporting services like doctor’s visits, chest x-rays, bacterial or blood culture tests, etc. are probably not and those costs can vary significantly depending on the point-of-care.

Ultimately, these costs are going to add up, and employers and health plans are already beginning to talk about what this will mean post-outbreak. “They’ve estimated how much it will cost to cover the covid test, how much will it cost to cover the actual treatment, and what are the implications in terms of how they think about 2021 and being able to contribute to employee plans,” says Maeve. 

“The offsetting factor here is that there is this massive delay of elective procedures — hips, knees, heart, there’s a lot in that bucket — and so how that cost and [those] services are offset is not at all clear right now.” 

In addition to the Cost Analysis Report, Castlight has also created an open-source Covid19 Testing Site Directory identifying 1,500 different testing sites nationwide and hoping to crowdsource more. 

Covid19 Cost Analysis Report: 

Covid19 Testing Directory:

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