Debt Relief, Medical Debt

How Coronavirus (COVID-19) Testing Could Trigger Medical Debt

The coronavirus has many people worrying about what will happen if they contract the virus. Now that the virus has spread to parts of the U.S., Americans are concerned about whether they should get tested for the coronavirus if they experience flu-like symptoms. Since this virus is relatively new and not completely understood, its testing may not be covered by private health insurance. Out-of-pocket medical costs can cost patients thousands of dollars, if the testing is not covered under their health insurance plan.

Florida businessman, Osmel Martinez Azcue reported experiencing flu-like symptoms after he returned from a trip to China in January. When he began experiencing the symptoms, Azcue went to the hospital to be tested for the virus. One of the tests he was offered at the hospital was a CT scan, which is one of the best methods used to detect the virus. He first went with the simple flu test to rule out the possibility that he was suffering from the common flu, which fortunately is what it turned out to be.  For him, the CT scan was not necessary.

Like many Americans, Azcue had private health insurance, which he used to process the test he received at the hospital. Several weeks after his appointment, Azcue received a bill from the hospital, which gave him quite the shock. His bill was in the amount of $3,270, only for a simple flu test involving blood work and a nasal swab. Arguably he would have paid much more than that had he needed the CT scan, as well. Despite the fact he had insurance, this was the amount he had to pay out of pocket.

If someone is experiencing flu-like symptoms and has not traveled to an area of the world where the virus has been reported within 14 days of feeling the symptoms, it is unlikely that he or she has the COVID-19 virus. In these situations, it is recommended that the patient stay at home and take the steps and precautions he or she normally would for the common cold or flu.

On the other hand, if the patient has traveled to an infected area or had contact with someone who has and has come down with the reported symptoms of fever, cough or trouble breathing within 14 days, he or she should first contact his or her doctor’s office or emergency department before coming in. Inform them of your symptoms and recent travels and ask how they would like the situation to be handled. They may prefer to quarantine the patient as soon as possible and ensure that no other patients in the doctor’s office or hospital are infected with the virus.

If you have questions on this topic or are in financial crisis and considering filing for bankruptcy, contact an experienced Miami bankruptcy attorney who can advise you of all of your options. As an experienced CPA as well as a proven bankruptcy lawyer, Timothy Kingcade knows how to help clients take full advantage of the bankruptcy laws to protect their assets and get successful results. Since 1996 Kingcade Garcia McMaken has been helping people from all walks of life build a better tomorrow. Our attorneys’ help thousands of people every year take advantage of their rights under bankruptcy protection to restart, rebuild and recover. The day you hire our firm, we will contact your creditors to stop the harassment. You can also find useful consumer information on the Kingcade Garcia McMaken website at www.miamibankruptcy.com.

Source: Fast Company- Free Coronavirus Test? How COVID-19 Could Spark Medical Debt

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