During these times of uncertainty, many of us are worried about various factors of our lives, from whether schools will reopen in the fall to what will happen to our jobs. So we wanted to take a moment and give you some potential good news: Many health insurance providers are offering credits toward, or grace periods for paying your health insurance premiums.
For many of you, this news will take one worry off of your already full plates. It makes sense from the providers point of view, too. The numbers of elective procedures being performed right now are way down, and consumers are avoiding both emergency rooms and doctor’s offices due to the pandemic. Many of the larger health insurance providers are seeing a 30 percent drop in healthcare usage. Inpatient care is down 30 percent, outpatient care is down 25 percent, and physician services are down 35 percent.
Since claims have dropped precipitously, and knowing that many consumers are experiencing financial strain at this time, many health insurance providers are extending that savings to their members. Depending upon your insurance carrier, the following provisions might be available:
- An extended grace period to pay your premiums due
- A credit for previous months’ premiums
- A discount on upcoming premium payments
- Suspension of some out-of-pocket charges
You can discover what your particular insurance carrier is offering by calling them, or giving us a call. We’ll be happy to help you navigate these new rules during this time.
One final note of caution: Even though claims for medical services are down now, analysts have predicted a surge in health care (and of course, claims) in the near future. Those who are postponing necessary preventive care could be in greater danger of developing chronic health conditions. While it’s understandable to be worried, do contact your doctor to discuss alternate methods of receiving care (such as telehealth) or to decide which tests and procedures really cannot wait. Budgets are important, but your health is always top priority.