Cost of COVID-19 Hospital Admissions among People with Private Health Coverage

In addition to its devastating health toll, COVID-19 can also lead to significant financial costs for people needing treatment and for public and private payers. This analysis examines the cost of COVID-19 treatment for inpatient care among people with health coverage through large employers.

It finds that in 2020, COVID-19 hospitalizations cost an average of $41,611, including an average out-of-pocket payment of $1,280 for people with large employer coverage. In 2020, many private insurers and employers temporarily waived out-of-pocket costs for COVID-19 treatment (this is generally no longer the case). For COVID-19 hospitalizations with some cost-sharing expense, an average of $1,880 was spent out-of-pocket by individuals with large employer coverage, though COVID-19 hospitalization costs vary widely for patients with private insurance.

This analysis focuses on people with large employer coverage and does not reflect costs for patients with Medicaid or Medicare. At this time, 2020 is the most recent year of available data, and hospitalization and other treatment costs may have changed with the introduction of newer treatments.

The analysis is available through the KFF-Peterson Health System Tracker, an online information hub that monitors and assesses the performance of the U.S. health system.

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