Many victims of coronavirus have been subjected to isolated treatment — and not always by choice. More often, quarantine situations are mandatory actions as a matter of course. But survivors of the novel sickness have begun to receive their bills. And when you were forced into isolated treatment, you might not actually expect a bill. This has left a lot of people asking whether or not insurance will cover treatment.
And for those of us who practice insurance law, different questions arise: will the number of new insurance cases skyrocket because people receive bills for treatment they didn’t actually want.
Keep this in mind: the American system of medicine is steeped in choice. If you need treatment, you choose to go get it. Don’t have the money? Don’t want to risk a big bill? Many people avoid the hospital. But when someone screams “coronavirus” they don’t have a choice. They receive treatment whether they like it or not. Those who don’t have enough insurance are still subject to the insane costs of long-term care. That means new lawsuits are coming.
And that’s just health insurance!
A shocking number of Americans have already canceled international travel plans because of the spread of the virus, which is quickly spiraling out of control. Many didn’t have a choice in the matter, because of increased travel restrictions and bans to and from places like China. That means that people will also have questions and concerns about whether travel insurance will cover their broken travel plans.
Most coverage isn’t absolute. That’s the point of insurance, after all. You’re paying a third-party to protect you from something, but that third party has only one job, really: to tell you no when you come calling.
That’s why it’s so important to read up on the insurance plan you want to buy. If you don’t see the word “pandemic” in the insurance agreement, you might be out of luck.
What’s covered? Generally, you won’t be covered by your travel insurance when the airline decides to cancel one of their flights. Usually, though, an airline will reimburse you whenever they remove a flight from the roster. It pays to check. Reimbursement might not include travel booked on the other end of the flight, though.
If you’re the one choosing to cancel your trip, then you’re almost never covered.
However, if you contract the virus or some other sickness, you’re almost always covered. If you’re put in quarantine, then you’re almost always covered — even if you never come down with the sickness.
All insurance plans have limits and exclusions, so discuss them with the provider whenever something gets in the way of travel plans. All else aside, you might benefit from calling an insurance lawyer for help.