Health Insurance and Covid-19
On March 11, 2020, America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) President and CEO Matt Eyles, following a meeting with President Trump at the White House, stated that “No one should hesitate to see their doctor to get tested and treated for COVID-19 because of costs. Health insurance providers across the country have taken action to remove cost barriers to care.”
Earlier this month, AHIP reiterated the health insurance providers’ promise to “help” COVID-19 patients and posted their action plan “Answering the Call: Health Insurance Providers Act Swiftly as Part of the COVID-19 Solution” to help patients and curb the spread of the virus.
According to their website, “Health insurance providers moved swiftly to proactively eliminate patient cost-sharing for COVID-19 diagnostic testing and treatment – no copay, no coinsurance required.” AHIP also promised a commitment to accelerating access to care, which means that prior authorization for those seeking testing or treatment of COVID-19 is being waived to speed up patients’ access to appropriate treatment.
Telehealth services are also promised to be expanded with cost-sharing also waived to ease the burden on the health care system. Wellness apps and tools are being offered, as well as access to a wide network of specialists that patients can consult with virtually.
Provider capacity is also being strengthened as health insurance providers offered financial assistance to providers via relief funds and direct donations, as well as millions of dollars of claims payments to physicians and hospitals.
Vulnerable populations are being promised support such as “engaging with local health care and social service providers to address socioeconomic needs including food security, employment, and housing, during the COVID-19 crisis and beyond.”
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