Pandemic personal preparedness: As the COVID 19 virus continues to spread and creates anxiety and uncertainty for everyone, here are a few suggestions for you to consider before you or a loved one seek medical care for this disease.
If you think you have COVID 19 and go to a hospital for treatment, you will be going inside the facility alone. There is the possibility that you will have trouble speaking due to breathing difficulties. In the Forms section of this website you will find “PERSONAL MEDICAL HISTORY 3 20”. You should complete this and take it with you to the hospital, outlining your pertinent medical information, including your Advanced Directove and DNR (Do Not Resuscitate) instructions. I suggest you make this a two-sided copy, if possible, with your Advanced Directive and DNR form copied on the back of the medical history form. Give your designated emergency contact, your proxy, a copy as well.
Pandemic personal preparedness: Be Ready to Leave Home Quickly
Pack a To-Go bag, just in case you need to leave for the hospital quickly and you are too ill to pack. Consider a bag that is washable (a duffel or canvas bag), or disposable (plastic shopping/tote bag). Include undies, your toiletries, robe, slippers, etc. Label the inside of the bag as well as the outside. Leave your valuables at home.
Pandemic personal preparedness: your medications
If you are currently on maintenance medications, try and have a 90-day supply at home. Insurance companies are currently waiving their customary monthly limits. It is anticipated that there might be a shortage of some medications as they are directed towards possible coronavirus treatment. Contact your insurance company, pharmacy, or physician for assistance and additional information.
Pandemic personal preparedness: Job Loss and Medical Insurance
If you have lost your job and had medical insurance through your employer, you have the option of continuing your current insurance through COBRA. If the monthly premium costs are too high, you might be able to obtain insurance through the exchange in your state or apply for Medicaid coverage. This information is changing daily as the unemployment numbers increase rapidly, so keep checking on your options.
other Pandemic Personal Preparedness resources:
I recently had the privilege of participating in a podcast with other members of the Alliance of Professional Health Advocates on medical billing questions and issues associated with the current pandemic. We all agreed that there is much uncertainty in what individuals will be paying out of pocket, what insurance providers will cover, and what new areas will have to be explored for paying for this pandemic.
The information about this disease, its treatment, and our lifestyle are changing daily. Continue to ask questions and prepare as much as you are able for the possibility that you or a loved one might need to seek treatment for COVID 19.