Margaret Wood Hassan

03/31/2020 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 03/31/2020 17:01

Following Outreach from Hassan & Shaheen, Major Insurance Companies Announce Policy to Waive Cost-Sharing for COVID-19 Expenses, Including Testing and Treatment

March 31, 2020

WASHINGTON - Following outreach from U.S. Senators Maggie Hassan and Jeanne Shaheen, two major insurance companies, Humana and Cigna, have announced that they will waive in-network and out-of-network cost-sharing for COVID-19 medical expenses, which includes testing and treatment, for both presumptive and confirmed COVID-19 cases. Humana and Cigna's decision comes after Senators Hassan and Shaheen urged insurance companies to cover all COVID-19-related treatment and services without cost-sharing requirements, which would allow Granite Staters and Americans to get tested, assessed, and treated without the fear of unexpected medical bills.

Under thebipartisan COVID-19 response packages, free testing is available if recommended by a doctor. However, due to a lack of available testing, it may not be possible for everyone who has contracted COVID-19 to get tested, which is why it is essential that insurance companies cover the costs for treatment and diagnostic services for both presumptive and confirmed COVID-19 cases.

'Our number one priority right now needs to be protecting the health and safety of Granite Staters and Americans, which is why it is essential that people can seek out testing and treatment without fear of unexpected and unfair medical bills,' Senator Hassan said. 'Humana and Cigna made the right decision to waive out-of-pocket costs for COVID-19 patients, a move that puts the health and safety of Americans first, and I urge other insurance providers to follow their lead to help us combat the spread of this deadly virus.'

'I'm glad these health insurers heeded our call and that there is one less obstacle in the way of those suffering from coronavirus to access the care they urgently need. This pandemic underscores the dangerous financial barriers afflicting our health care system and compromising Americans' access to medical treatment,' Senator Shaheen said. 'As this pandemic spreads, it's critical that testing and treatment are available to everyone who needs it so we can save lives and stop the spread of this disease. I urge other health insurance companies to follow suit and help ensure barriers to care like cost do not stop Americans from getting the medical treatment they need. We are all in this together.'

Senators Hassan and Shaheen joined Senator Chris Murphy and colleagues in urging major insurance companies to suspend all cost-sharing requirements connected with treatments for COVID-19 and associated health complications. In addition, Senator Hassan recently led her colleagues, including Senator Shaheen, in sending a letter to major health insurance companies urging them to cover testing and treatment for both presumptive positive and confirmed positive COVID-19 patients. The letter helps to address the disparity in coverage for those whose doctors have ordered tests and treatments for their patients given COVID-19 symptoms, but who cannot officially diagnose their patients with COVID-19 because of the lack of available tests across the country. Additionally, both Senators Hassan and Shaheen joined their colleagues in urging the Trump administration to open a special enrollment period to allow people without health insurance to purchase a plan through the health insurance marketplaces amid this ongoing public health emergency.

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