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Is There Coronavirus Medication Covered by Health Insurance?

Is There Coronavirus Medication Covered by Health Insurance
29 Mar 2020

Coronavirus, or COVID–19, is a respiratory illness that is spread from person to person contact. It was first identified and originated in Wuhan, China in 2019. The risk of infection of this virus is higher for people who come into contact with someone who has Coronavirus (within about 6 feet) through respiratory droplets when an infected person sneezes or coughs. It may also be spread by touching an infected surface and then touching one’s own mouth, nose, or eyes. Those with Coronavirus will experience mild to severe respiratory illness with other symptoms that include:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Runny nose
  • Sore throat
  • Pain or pressure in the chest
  • Confusion
  • Blue tinted lips or face
  • Shortness of breath
  • Difficulty breathing

This disease can also come with serious complications that can result in hospitalization such as the development of pneumonia, organ failure, and even death.

More than two months have gone by since the first reported case of this illness was reported here, and Coronavirus is quickly spreading throughout the United States with over 100,000 confirmed cases thus far and over 1500 deaths. With this disease spreading so rapidly, it leaves many Americans wondering if Coronavirus medications will be covered by their health insurance.

While most major insurers have agreed to wave copays related to Coronavirus testing, they have not agreed to cover the cost of care for those who are ill due to this disease. There currently is no specific treatment for this disease yet, however different treatment and vaccines are currently being studied. Most treatments available focus on treating the symptoms involved with the illness as it runs its course.

Although there is no cure yet for Coronavirus, doctors have begun experimenting with anti-malaria drugs to treat severe cases or Coronavirus, but it has yet to be proven as a cure. Chloroquine combined with azithromycin is being used off label for treatment in an attempt to find a better way to fight back against this disease. Off label refers to medications that haven’t been sufficiently tested or approved for a specific illness. With more time, we will be able to know for sure whether this is a suitable treatment regimen for Coronavirus.

What Can You do to Stay Healthy?

During this time of crisis, it is important to know all the steps you can take to lower your risk for exposure to the Coronavirus. It is also good to know how it spreads so you know best how to protect yourself. The virus is spread from person to person from close contact with someone infected or through respiratory droplets from an infected person who coughs or sneezes. The best way to protect yourself is by:

  • Cleaning your hands often – Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds and use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol content.
  • Avoid touching your face including the eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick, at least 6 feet away.
  • Cover your own coughs and sneezes with the inside of your elbow or with a tissue. Immediately dispose of your tissue in the garbage.
  • Clean and disinfect with bleach or alcohol solutions frequently touched surfaces such as tables, chairs, doorknobs, handles, phones, toilets, faucets, etc.
  • Stay in your home as much as possible and out of public and away from crowds to avoid the further spread.

While there is no cure for this disease and no coverage by health insurance at this time, everything possible is being done to combat this illness from spreading much further. It is important to do everything you can to stay healthy during this uncertain time.