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Ebola case raises questions about insurance coverage

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The case of Ashoka Mukpo — a freelance photojournalist who contracted Ebola will working for NBC News in Liberia — has raised questions about how some types of health insurance policies will cover Ebola-related bills.

NBC News has promised to pay any Ebola-related bills not covered by the insurance.

Supporters who started a fundraising page for Mukpo at say they believe that the photojournalist bought traveler’s insurance before he left for Liberia, but that they believe the policy contains an exclusion for “catastrophic events or outbreaks.”

More information about the policy was not immediately available from Mukpo and the organizers of the page.

Domestic major medical policies are governed by a Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) provisions that bans use of annual and lifetime benefits limits. The PPACA provisions do not apply to trave health insurance, or to coverage issued by insurers domiciled outside the United States.

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But the page organizers noted that Mukpo may face many other Ebola-related expenses, because the authorities took away Mukpo’s belongings, and may have destroyed his equipment, when they learned that he had Ebola. He may also have to spend time recuperating.

Medical evacuation alone cost about $150,000, supporters say.

The page organizers are hoping to raise $500,000 to help Mukpo, and the page shows that they have already raised $50,000.

See also: Second health-care worker tests positive for Ebola in Texas


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