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Health insurers pledge no cost to patients for coronavirus testing


A number of major health insurers pledged Tuesday to cover coronavirus testing at no cost to patients, but those assurances may not resolve public concerns about testing, Time magazine reported. During a meeting at the White House, executives from companies including Anthem, UnitedHealth and Humana, along with the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, assured the president and vice president they would stick with commitments they had made in recent days. Vice President Mike Pence said the industry representatives agreed that coronavirus tests would be covered at no cost to patients, and agreed to cover telemedicine related to the outbreak. The companies pledged no surprise billing in connection with coronavirus. In Iowa, Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield posted on its coronavirus page that it will waive prior authorization for coronavirus testing, and will have no cost-share for testing. Also, members will not be liable for additional charges for prescription medicines if a non-formulary medicine is needed due to supply shortages. Wellmark also encouraged the use of its telehealth services to avoid the spread of the virus, but does not appear to be waiving charges for those services. 

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