COVID-19 & Long Term Care
According to Genworth, which issues LTC policies, premiums for existing policies can’t be raised for specific customers due to individual circumstances. However, rates can be subject to periodic group increases based on an insurer’s claims history, or actuarial projections for future claims.For example, using claims or actuarial data, insurers can ask state regulators to let them increase LTC premiums for groups of similar policyholders in that state.
Any changes arising from the outbreak “wouldn’t happen immediately, as the insurers need time to do the proper research and analysis to verify necessary rate changes,” Fitzgerald says. “As of now, we have not seen any impact on [existing] long-term care policies because of coronavirus.”
The outbreak could have an effect if you are looking to purchase a new LTC policy. As with life insurance, age and health status can affect whether you qualify for long-term care insurance and what you pay. LTC insurers may take into account whether you are at elevated risk or have tested positive for COVID-19 in assessing a policy application.
Is Medicare covering COVID-19 testing and treatment?
Medicare will pay all costs for COVID-19 testing ordered by a doctor or other health care provider, and for services related to testing, such as office and emergency room visits. Beneficiaries will pay nothing for testing.
People with original Medicare who are hospitalized for COVID-19 treatment will still have deductibles and copays. If you have a supplemental Medigap plan, it may cover these costs. If you have Medicare Advantage, out-of-pocket costs for hospital and outpatient treatment vary by plan. Contact your Advantage plan provider.
You’ll find more information in our AARP Answers on Medicare and the coronavirus.
What about Affordable Care Act (ACA) health plans?
Plans purchased through the ACA marketplace are required to cover emergency services and hospitalization, and that would apply to such treatment for COVID-19. You may incur out-of-pocket costs, depending on your plan.
Some major providers of ACA plans, such as Centene and Molina Healthcare, have waived cost-sharing on coronavirus treatment for marketplace customers. Ask your plan provider about its coverage.