Opinion: Insurers must brace for onslaught of long-term COVID-19 disability claims

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COVID-19 is setting the stage for tremendous strain on American health insurance as scientists uncover more of the long-term debilitations associated with the virus.

In a column for Scientific American, infectious disease physician Dr. Claire Pomeroy, MD, said that although most coronavirus patients continue to suffer from symptoms six to eight months after infection, disability insurance is not prepared for growing claims and disability payments.

Respiratory issues, fatigue and "brain fog" are keeping patients out of work for months after their diagnosis, she said, a situation that could lead to millions of Americans being permanently disabled.

Disability claims will become more complicated as patients struggle to determine whether they contracted the virus at work, fail to document initial infection and meet Social Security Administration debilitation requirements, she said. 

Dr. Pomeroy called on insurers to come to a national consensus on payment requirements. 

 

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