In addition to management measures to decrease costs, members of America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), which include Cigna Corp and Aetna, will take steps to ensure affordable passage to novel coronavirus (COVID-19) testing and therapy, according to a comment from the group.
In addition to the typical co-pays and charges for a physician visit, patients who require testing for COVID-19 could face steeper prices depending on whether a business lab or the CDC manages the test.
According to a statement from the Kaiser Family Foundation, nearly 28 million nonelderly Americans needed health insurance in 2018, which could be a significant barrier to obtaining necessary indicative testing and practice for COVID-19.2 More than half of those uninsured sufferers do not have a regular physician’s office to visit when they need medical care, and 1 in 5 uninsured adults went without needed medical care due to losses in 2018.
Moreover, those who seek preventive care without coverage will face critical medical bills. According to the report, uninsured people may pay more excellent rates than those with insurance whose coverage contracts lower prices than usual, further preventing those patients from trying care.
Some security companies, however, are taking steps to mitigate those costs. Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS), for example, is waiving prior authorizations (PAs) for symptomatic tests, including medically necessary characteristic tests, waiving early medication refill limits on 30-day prescription support medications, and increasing access to telehealth and medical provider hotlines.
“BCBS is creating these settings to ensure its members can swiftly access the right care in the right setting during the break,” the company announced in a statement.
AHIP has centered on similar projects encompassed in 3 steps, according to a press statement. Those actions include working with public- and private-sector partners to find resolutions to out-of-pocket costs, partnering with health care providers to ensure the availability of treatment, and teaching the audience on precautionary measures.
Part of achieving solutions involves easing network, referral, and PA requirements for specific diagnostic testing when ordered by a physician, as well as taking steps to ensure that patients have continued access to regular medications, according to the announcement.
AHIP members are also working with health providers to encourage telehealth, at-home care, and other technology-based opportunities for sufferers who should not abandon their homes.
All In All
Some federal legislation may also mitigate damages, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation report. The Families First Coronavirus Response Act, passed March 13, would give states the option to increase Medicaid coverage to include uninsured people in their country for COVID-19 diagnosis and testing. This expansion would have 100% federal funding if completed. Although this step only incorporates testing, the report recorded that it requires state Medicaid programs to cover the tests with no cost-sharing, which could go a long way toward ensuring more widespread testing.