Employers can opt out of insurers' COVID-19 cost-sharing waivers, possibly leaving patients with unexpected bills

Major health insurers like UnitedHealthcare and Cigna are waiving cost-sharing for COVID-19 treatment and testing. However, those who get health insurance through their job could be on the hook for unexpected medical bills if their employer opts out of the cost-sharing program, according to MarketWatch.

Under the programs launched by the nation's largest insurers, health plans won't make patients pay for deductibles, copays, co-insurance and other cost-sharing if they're hospitalized with COVID-19. 

However, people who are insured through their employer may face out-of-pocket costs for treatment, as employers with self-funded or self-insured health plans can opt out of the programs, according to MarketWatch. Self-funded means the health plan administers the benefits while the employer pays for them.

Health insurers have encouraged employers with self-funded plans to participate in the cost-waiving programs.

Read the full report here

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