Some commercial health insurers are responding to the COVID-19 crisis by beefing up enrollee benefits — and the agency that runs Medicare is beefing up immediate cash support for providers.
All of the major health insurers have said they will cover COVID-19 testing without imposing co-payments or deductibles on the patients, and most say they are covering telehealth services without cost-sharing.
A new federal law, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, has closed one potential testing benefits gap, by requiring self-insured employer plans to cover testing without cost-sharing. Before the act became law, some state insurance regulators had emphasized that the COVID-19 testing benefits at self-insured plans were outside their jurisdiction.
Here’s a look at some of the changes commercial health insurers are making, drawn from the company’s own announcements and a list compiled by America’s Health Insurance Plans.
Aetna, a part of CVS Health, says it will eliminate cost-sharing for all in-network inpatient COVID-19 care through June 1.
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts is eliminating co-payments for COVID-19 treatments at doctor’s offices, emergency rooms and urgent care clinics.
Bright Health is offering members transportation to their doctors.
CareFirst is eliminating cost-sharing for in-network or out-of-network COVID-19 treatment.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the agency that runs Medicare, says it will speed up payments to providers and make payments in advance, to help providers make the purchases they need to prepare for a surge in the number of COVID-19 patients.