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COVID-19

For America’s uninsured, COVID-19 will present extra challenges

Jasmine Garsd Mar 4, 2020
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A researcher works in a lab that is developing testing for the COVID-19 coronavirus on Feb. 28, 2020 in Nutley, N.J. Kena Betancur/Getty Images
COVID-19

For America’s uninsured, COVID-19 will present extra challenges

Jasmine Garsd Mar 4, 2020
A researcher works in a lab that is developing testing for the COVID-19 coronavirus on Feb. 28, 2020 in Nutley, N.J. Kena Betancur/Getty Images
HTML EMBED:
COPY

There are nearly 30 million Americans without health insurance. The Wall Street Journal reports that the Trump administration is considering using a national disaster program to help them pay for COVID-19 treatment.

The CDC doesn’t charge for its coronavirus tests, but getting that test requires a doctor’s visit or maybe an emergency room stay. Without insurance, the bill could be thousands of dollars.

“For people who are uninsured, knowing that they may face thousands of dollars worth of medical costs can be a deterrent to getting care,” said Jennifer Tolbert, director of state health reform with the Kaiser Family Foundation.

And if people who have symptoms avoid getting tests because it’s too expensive, experts say that could make it harder to contain the disease — especially because of who tends to be uninsured. Sabrina Corlette, the co-director of Georgetown’s Center on Health Insurance Reforms, said that tends to be people who take care of children and the elderly, clean hotels and serve food.

And those are exactly the people that Corlette says should be a priority for testing.

COVID-19 Economy FAQs

Can businesses deny you entry if you don’t have a vaccine passport?

As more Americans get vaccinated against COVID-19 and the economy begins reopening, some businesses are requiring proof of vaccination to enter their premises. The concept of a vaccine passport has raised ethical questions about data privacy and potential discrimination against the unvaccinated. However, legal experts say businesses have the right to deny entrance to those who can’t show proof.

Give me a snapshot of the labor market in the U.S.

U.S. job openings in February increased more than expected, according to the Labor Department. Also, the economy added over 900,000 jobs in March. For all of the good jobs news recently, there are still nearly 10 million people who are out of work, and more than 4 million of them have been unemployed for six months or longer. “So we still have a very long way to go until we get a full recovery,” said Elise Gould with the Economic Policy Institute. She said the industries that have the furthest to go are the ones you’d expect: “leisure and hospitality, accommodations, food services, restaurants” and the public sector, especially in education.

What do I need to know about tax season this year?

Glad you asked! We have a whole separate FAQ section on that. Some quick hits: The deadline has been extended from April 15 to May 17 for individuals. Also, millions of people received unemployment benefits in 2020 — up to $10,200 of which will now be tax-free for those with an adjusted gross income of less than $150,000. And, for those who filed before the American Rescue Plan passed, simply put, you do not need to file an amended return at the moment. Find answers to the rest of your questions here.

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