July 3, 2022
  • July 3, 2022

COVID-19 health insurance coverage changes in 2022

By on December 29, 2021 0

WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) — As the world begins to edge closer to nearly two full years of the COVID-19 pandemic, health insurance agencies are changing how much they cover through 2022.

Jenny Shermo, director of growth for Security Health Plan in Marshfield, said it has fully covered all COVID-19 testing and inpatient treatment and monitoring since the pandemic began, noting that other insurers have stopped. this coverage after one year. She said they had been monitoring federal recommendations on what insurance agencies should cover and trends in benefit utilization to determine if the changes would have too big of an impact.

As of January 1, 2022, the Security Health Plan will no longer fully cover inpatient treatment and monitoring for all of its plans.

“It would be like any other hospital stay, your normal cost sharing under your plan benefits would apply.”

It also won’t cover COVID-19 tests that aren’t considered “medically necessary.”

“If there has been any exposure or symptoms these will continue to be covered as they always have been at no cost to members, the only change would be for those who are more common screenings similar to the how, you know, drug testing or sports-related physical exams work today without medical necessity.

Shermo explained that the trends showed a shift in their medical activity, largely back to pre-pandemic care. The need for COVID treatment and testing is flowing with the waves seen in the general public, with greater use in winter than in summer. In-process security health plan testing, in particular, is primarily due to what will soon be considered “medically necessary” reasons anyway.

“Of more than 175,000 COVID tests since inception, less than half of one percent have been for routine purposes.”

This is what the city of Wausau has also seen from its employees. Toni Vanderboom, the city’s director of human resources, said there has been no testing requirement for employees to return to work for some time and with changes from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention this week recommending five days of quarantine, early return to work testing will not be required.

“I think everyone – employees and HR departments – found COVID to be really difficult. It’s been a changing process throughout the pandemic,” Vanderboom said.

The city’s COVID policies are written to follow regardless of the CDC’s current recommendations, which means it’s had to change policies 8-10 times in the past nearly two years.

“It’s hard to keep employees informed so they know what they need to do and what their expectations are.”

The changes to health insurance align with what current CDC recommendations would have covered.

“The first thing we do when we find out an employee has been exposed is ask about their vaccination status, as current CDC, DHS, and county recommendations vary based on an employee’s vaccination status,” said said Vanderboom.

People who show symptoms or who have been potentially exposed are recommended to get tested. Those tests, Shermo said, would be fully covered. However, if anyone has questions about which COVID-related medical procedures would be covered, she still recommends that people ask questions.

For the latest CDC guidelines, click here.

Copyright 2021 WSAW. All rights reserved.