HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) – For people with severe cases of COVID-19, hospital stays can last for weeks or even months. And that can lead to significant medical costs.
Coby Torda spent 69 days in the hospital and the bills quickly piled up.
“It was quite alarming, it was like a black cloud over my head,” Torda said, adding that before his health insurance kicked in the costs were almost $ 1 million. dollars.
Aaron Mikami was also in a coma after contracting the virus.
His medical bills were around $ 200,000.
Both men have HMSA insurance, which works with them to reduce costs to zero.
“For the top three payers, Medicare, for this federal program, our state’s Medicaid program, and the HMSA commercial line, we do not charge anyone any co-payments for COVID-related illnesses,” said Dr. Mark Mugiishi, President and CEO of HMSA. And other plans do the same.
Mikami said he was grateful the plan was ready to help.
“The aloha that all hospitals, insurance companies, have for each other, especially during a time like this,” he said.
For those who still receive co-payment bills, health plans suggest calling them to discuss appeal options. They don’t want anyone to ignore care for fear of the cost.
“If you’re sick or think you’re positive, don’t hesitate, go get checked out,” Torda said, “You can worry about the bills afterwards. Your health is your number one priority.
If patients are still receiving co-payment bills, Mugiishi said the reason could be that the provider did not specify the treatment was linked to COVID-19. This can be fixed during a call.
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