If I get COVID-19, what good will my insurance do me?

Lots of people have insurance plans that only cover them with certain places —providers, certain hospitals.


But: in a COVID pandemic surge, who knows if you'd end up one of those places? And if you end up someplace else... then what?


That’s the question we got from a listener named Becky in Minnesota. She's got a Bronze plan — it only covers a limited "network" of providers— and she's got a $6,000+ deductible.


With officials talking about converting sports arenas into makeshift hospitals, Becky says: "If you call an ambulance, you may not even go to a hospital, right? Let alone a hospital that is quote-unquote in your network."


We put Becky's question to one of the country’s top health-insurance nerds: Sabrina Corlette, founder and co-director of Georgetown University’s Center on Health Insurance Reforms.


Not all the answers were comforting. But they weren't all grim either. And Becky turns out to have some good advice for us all.


And, per Sabrina Corlette's advice for anybody newly out of work — and suddenly without health insurance: Go apply for Medicaid.

As promised in the episode, here's a map showing which states have expanded Medicaid so that pretty much anybody who suddenly has very little income is eligible.


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