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A COVID lesson for many: Refusing vaccinations can be expensive

New reporting raises a question some may not have considered: Are the unvaccinated really willing to take the financial hit?


In recent months, there's been no shortage of reports about people paying for fake COVID-19 vaccination cards, though they remain somewhat baffling. A free miracle vaccine is readily available throughout the United States, but some would prefer to pay real money -- in some cases, hundreds of dollars -- for fraudulent documents that leave them at risk.

But it's important for Americans to also realize the other ways in which refusing vaccinations can be increasingly expensive. Axios reported this morning:

Coronavirus patients who end up hospitalized — the vast majority of whom are unvaccinated — are increasingly likely to be on the hook for their medical bills, according to a new KFF analysis.

Axios added that early last year, most insurers were willing to waive out-of-pocket costs for coronavirus hospitalizations, "but with vaccines readily available, many patients are once again on the hook for deductibles and co-pays, which could make remaining unvaccinated a lot more expensive."

It's also notable that most of the states with the highest numbers of per-capita COVID-19 cases still haven't accepted Medicaid expansion through the Affordable Care Act, creating conditions in which many low-income families can't afford coverage.

The list of good reasons to get vaccinated is not short. But for skeptics who are unmoved by the usual, persuasive, and entirely accurate arguments about safety and health, this new reporting raises a question they may not have considered: Are the unvaccinated really willing to take the financial hit?