Insurers Promise To Cover Coronavirus Tests, Relax Coverage Policies

 Friday, March 6, 2020

A major health insurance trade group is pledging its member plans will cover doctor-ordered testing for the coronavirus amid rising confusion and concern about who will bear the cost of care in an outbreak.

America’s Health Insurance Plans made the commitment Thursday, although it’s still unclear when insurers might have to start paying for tests. So far, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has picked up the tab for coronavirus diagnostics. The cost picture is expected to become more complicated as more private labs and academic medical centers launch their own testing. Thursday alone, commercial labs Quest Diagnostics, LabCorp and BioReference Laboratories announced they’d launch testing for the virus.

Cigna separately announced its customers will have access to coronavirus testing "as prescribed by health practitioners" and that it intends to waive co-pays and other forms of cost sharing.

AHIP also promised to take steps to dissuade patients from skipping tests or treatment due to cost concerns and potentially could waive co-pays. The trade group said it would begin relaxing policies on provider networks and referrals as well.
Life & Health