Tahoe Forest Health System waives out-of-pocket costs for screening, testing and, in most cases, treatment of COVID-19 | SierraSun.com
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Tahoe Forest Health System waives out-of-pocket costs for screening, testing and, in most cases, treatment of COVID-19

Submitted to the Sierra Sun

The cost of health care during the current pandemic is a critical issue for many people, including worry about out-of-pockets costs for those who seek care and treatment for COVID-19. According to a news release, Tahoe Forest Health System is waiving out-of-pocket costs for screening and testing, and in most cases, the treatment of those with COVID-19 illness, since the beginning of the pandemic in March.

Community members may be reluctant to seek care due to concerns about health care costs, the release states, and those with private insurance may face fees in the form of deductibles, copayments or coinsurance, including for services outside of their network.

Every insurance situation is different, and the coronavirus pandemic has created uncertainty for many residents of our community. Tahoe Forest Health System, according to the release, has taken actions to help manage the affordability challenges that can arise from a positive diagnosis of COVID-19 testing and treatment, particularly if it is perceived as a barrier to obtaining health care.

“We encourage community members to call us about any concern related to billing or charges for testing, screening and treatment of COVID-19” said Harry Weis, president and CEO of Tahoe Forest Health System. “The billing requirements under the pandemic are completely new, and we want to offer as much assistance as possible to our community so we can work together on solutions, especially for those with COVID illness that may be uninsured or concerned about fees. Many may qualify for government resources, and we want to help with that.”

“We encourage community members to call us about any concern related to billing or charges for testing, screening and treatment of COVID-19.”— Harry WeisPresident and CEO of Tahoe Forest Health System

While costs will vary based on deductibles and coverage of individual insurance plans, Tahoe Forest will not bill patients for out-of-pocket expenses that are incurred for screening and testing, and in most cases, for the treatment of a positive diagnosis for COVID-19, the release states.

Treatment for COVID-19 is covered under most health insurance plans and Medicare. However, according to the release, patients should review their plan or contact their insurance company with questions about cost-sharing. Medicare and some insurance plans may still have cost sharing requirements in place. If this creates a financial hardship, please be sure to contact Tahoe Forest Health System’s Financial Customer Service office to discuss your situation.

In addition, independent contractors of the hospital such as radiologists, ER physicians, anesthesiologists, pathologists, ambulance transportation and durable medical equipment may bill patients separately as well. Tahoe Forest Health encourages community members to contact Financial Customer Service office to discuss their situation and options.

The Financial Customer Service program was designed to help the community understand insurance benefits, answer questions about billing, and estimate costs of medical procedures in advance of service. They can also help with financial assistance programs and help identify resources for governmental programs for those who qualify.

Call 530-582-3598 Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-5:30 p.m.

Source: Tahoe Forest Health System


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