Seventy-two percent of the country's largest health plans are no longer waiving out-of-pocket costs for COVID-19 treatment, according to research released Aug. 19 by the Peterson-KFF Health System Tracker.
Most private insurers waived cost-sharing for COVID-19 treatment early in the pandemic. Some insurers started phasing out these waivers last November, and even more followed suit after COVID-19 vaccines became widely available in the U.S.
The research team looked at the two largest health plans in each state and Washington, D.C. They found that as of Aug. 12, 72 percent of these plans are no longer waiving cost-sharing for COVID-19 treatment, and another 10 percent of plans have planned to phase out the waivers by the end of October.
During the first seven months of 2021, about one-third of employers said their largest plan waived cost-sharing for COVID-19 treatment.
The typical deductible for an employer health plan is $1,644, and a patient hospitalized for COVID-19 could incur out-of-pocket costs amounting to about $1,300, according to the report.