I Have A Lot of Medical Bills and Lost Wages From Getting Covid. What Can I Do?
Recovering from the long-term financial damages of COVID may be harder than overcoming the physical effects of the virus. Many survivors face exorbitant medical bills and lost wages from when they were out of work for quarantine and sick time. Help for recovering these costs is out there if you know where to look.
State unemployment benefits are available to people who lost the ability to work due to COVID-19. Unemployment benefits do not typically pay for 100 percent of a person’s wages, but it can cover some. If housing becomes an issue, there are housing assistance programs. If you are struggling to pay rent, you should review your local programs to determine if you qualify for assistance.
Resolving medical debt from care received for COVID-19 can be accomplished in several ways. Uninsured persons can potentially have their COVID-19 medical bills paid by Medicaid. These persons need to meet the income and other eligibility requirements. In South Carolina, this benefit program is known as Healthy Connections. The program uses federal funds to cover the costs of COVID-19 testing and vaccination.
If a person does not qualify for Healthy Connections or has insurance but is unable to cover the total costs, there are a few options. South Carolina hospitals have in-house programs to assist patients in these situations. Contact your local hospitals or healthcare provider to find out where your care was received. You may be able to negotiate your medical bill and have it reduced, a monthly plan set up, or eliminated.
Federal and state funds have created many programs to help those suffering from the financial harm caused by the pandemic. It’s important to keep in mind that agencies can become backlogged with claims. The best way to get financial relief is to be proactive about it. Check your eligibility for benefits as soon as possible and determine what works best for your unique situation.