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How not getting the COVID vaccine could cost you more

Insurance companies can charge more for behaviors considered risky. While they've not raised rates for the unvaccinated yet, it could be coming.

HOUSTON — Close to 100 million Americans who are eligible for the COVID vaccine have still not gotten a shot. And that could soon cost them money. Let’s connect the dots.

While getting a COVID-19 vaccination will most likely protect you from being hospitalized, it could soon have another benefit -- cheaper health insurance. 

Before the shots were available, most major private insurers waived patient payments for COVID treatments. But many have now gotten rid of that benefit and the bills are rolling in.

Kaiser Health News reports some patients getting six-figure bills for coronavirus hospital stays. And even with insurance, it can cost over $1,000.

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Insurers could make it even more costly to stay unvaccinated. Some policies already won’t cover treatment for activities deemed risky. We are talking things like rock climbing and scuba diving. Another example – smoking.  The Affordable Care Act allows insurers to charge up to fifty percent more to smokers than nonsmokers.

So far, insurance companies have not said if they will charge unvaccinated customers more. But at the end of the day, those unvaccinated customers will cost them more. Experts, however, agree that a price increase would probably not happen until the vaccine’s have full FDA approval.

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