The Rabbit Hole of Insurance Companies during COVID


I admit, I stole this from Reddit, but it poses some interesting questions. It’s about the legal and ethical repercussions of COVID. Families A and B refuse to wear masks because it’s their legal right to not wear one. They meet up with each other for dinner, one member of Family B has COVID, but is asymptomatic and infects everyone at dinner. Person A and spouse are symptom free as is their child. However, after several weeks one night Child A wakes up screaming in the middle of the night because their blood vessels are inflamed. Child A is rushed to the ER and spends 3 weeks in the hospital with Kawasaki Disease related to COVID-19. Child A’s hospital bill is $400,000 but by interviewing the family and staff at the hospital the insurance company discovers the family were not taking reasonable preventative steps.

The questions are

  • Can the insurance refuse to pay the bill? Some companies have refused to pay some influenza related hospital bills because the person refused to get the influenza vaccine; thereby refusing to meet reasonable preventative standards for a highly contagious disease.
  • How much can insurance companies legally raise your premiums due to the effects of the pandemic? Should they raise everyone’s premiums next year or only those that were infected with COVID? Or only those that failed to take reasonable precautions? Our insurance not only pays for our influenza shot every year, but we get a break on our premiums if more than 50% of people in our company plan get the vaccine (there are 53 people on it).
  • If the insurance refuses to pay can Family A sue the Family B to recoup some of their financial losses from Child A’s hospitalization? In other words, is Family B morally and financially responsible for Family A’s child getting ill and racking up a huge hospital bill?
  • If Child A suffers severe heart damage from the Kawasaki Disease can Family B be held morally and financially responsible for their long term care and health? As if they were severely (and permanently) injured at Family B’s house?
  • Is Family A expected to continue their friendship with Family B?
  • If Child A dies can Family A file a wrongful death suit against Family B?

There were more, but it was Reddit (I got tired of scrolling and wading through the stupid stuff). Interestingly, a supposed lawyer (it’s Reddit anyone can claim to be a lawyer) chimed in that Family A should be able to hold Family B financially responsible for Child A’s condition regardless of whether insurance paid for it or not especially as contact tracing improves along with viral RNA sequencing. Which makes me wonder how many lawsuits will come out of COVID.

I really only had one question from it… How much moral responsibility can we put on people for spreading the virus? If Person B infects three people and 1 dies can you tell people that Person B is a murderer (I ask this because I’ve seen reports of people putting signs on people’s cars and houses calling them murderers for infecting an elderly family member that died)?

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