By Leslie Albrecht | March 25, 2020

Getting tested for the novel coronavirus is now free, but being treated for the respiratory illness could cost up to $20,000, a recent analysis by Peterson-Kaiser Family Foundation Health System Tracker found.

People with health insurance through their employer could pay more than $1,300 in out-of-pocket costs if they’re hospitalized with a severe case of COVID-19, Peterson-KFF found. The estimated costs were based on 2018 hospitalization costs for pneumonia patients with employer-sponsored health insurance.

An estimated one in five (18%) patients hospitalized with a severe case of pneumonia ended up with a surprise medical bill from an out-of-network provider, Peterson-KFF found.

The Families First relief act recently passed by Congress made testing for the coronavirus free. Most of America’s major health insurers agreed to waive co-pays and other out-of-pocket costs for coronavirus tests, but there’s no such discount planned for treating the disease.

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