Life Insurance During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Understanding how the rise in COVID cases impacts life insurance is essential. Many people have questions about the different types of life insurance coverage available. Getting answers to pandemic insurance coverage questions is crucial in giving you much-needed guidance, whether you need term life insurance or a whole life insurance policy. Reaching out to an agency can also help you better understand pandemic insurance coverage.
Here is an overview of common questions about the relationship between coronavirus and insurance.
Does Life Insurance Cover the Coronavirus?
Yes, life insurance in good standing will provide the beneficiary or beneficiaries with a death benefit if the policy owner dies due to COVID-19 complications. Additionally, an insurance provider cannot modify the premiums or change the health classification if someone has or is at a higher risk of coronavirus due to their job or recent travel. Any claims on social media saying that life insurance companies won't pay a policy if the customer hadn't received a vaccine for COVID-19 are entirely false.
Can I Get a Life Insurance Policy During the Pandemic?
Insurers continue to allow you to purchase whole life insurance or term life insurance during the pandemic. Most insurers have seen a rise in life insurance applications, likely due to the coronavirus. However, it may take longer to receive life insurance due to the number of Covid cases. For example, it's common for many survivors of COVID-19 to have to wait 30 additional days and provide medical records that they are fully recovered before receiving pandemic life insurance. If an applicant was hospitalized, the waiting period is usually around six months.
Can the Rise in Covid Cases Impact my Long-Term Care Insurance?
Any premiums for existing long-term care (LTC) insurance policies can't be increased for individual clients based on specific circumstances. However, rates can be subject to increases for different groups, whether an insurer's claims history or projections for future claims. Any of these changes wouldn't happen immediately, as it takes time for the insurer to conduct the proper research and analyze data to confirm any of these rate changes. On the other hand, the rise in Covid cases may impact individuals in need of an LTC policy, as these insurers will consider your risk level while reviewing your policy application.
Are All Life Insurers Taking Age Into Account for COVID-19?
Some of the most well-known insurers limit the sales of new life insurance policies for older adults. These insurance providers have either suspended or postponed policy applications for anyone that's 80 years or older. On the other hand, some insurance companies decreased age restrictions initially created in the early days of the pandemic, as more research became available on who is at the most significant risk of the coronavirus. These insurers will continue to look at all the data and evaluate the situation as it evolves.
Does it Take Longer to Process Auto and Home Claims?
Many life insurance claims require person-to-person contact, which may be restricted in some areas of the country. Wait times on the phone to contact an agent may also take longer. Using third parties for damage claims, whether car repair shops or contractors, may take longer due to them keeping limited hours or if they don't have a full staff. Even some insurers allow policyholders to make virtual claims to help expedite the process.
Will My Health Insurer Require Me to Pay for Coronavirus Treatment?
Many larger insurers waived cost-sharing for getting tested for COVID-19 or receiving any treatment throughout 2020 and into 2021. However, many of these insurers were applying deductibles, coinsurance, and copays for various services near the end of October 2021. Learning more about your health insurance provider is important because each one pays for different services. You shouldn't have to pay anything to receive a COVID-19 vaccine despite these differences.
How Does Coronavirus Treatment Impact Affordable Care Act (ACT)?
Any plans bought through the ACA marketplace must cover emergency services and hospitalization, which applies to receiving treatment for the coronavirus. However, you may have out-of-pocket costs due to your plan. Some of the major providers of these plans have waived cost-sharing for coronavirus treatment. Reaching out to your plan provider is always a good idea to learn more about your policy details.
Can I Get Covered If I Don't Have Any Health Insurance?
Low-income people can be eligible for Medicaid or an ACA plan. The enrollment period for Medicaid is open throughout the year, while ACA plans are available from November 1st to December 15th in most states. You can also sign up for coverage for an ACA plan outside of this enrollment period due to a life-changing event.