Payers' response to COVID-19 evolves as pandemic continues to spread 

As the COVID-19 outbreak continues, health plans are adapting their response in tandem.

In the early days of the pandemic reaching the U.S., all of the biggest health insurers agreed to waive the costs associated with testing and urged their members to embrace telehealth.

Now, many are taking that further and sweetening the pot for members with free virtual visits, with the goal of keeping them out of the hospital. UnitedHealthcare, for example, announced this week that telehealth visits with any of its partner platforms would be offered at no charge and also offered to waive costs for coronavirus-related virtual visits from any in-network provider.

The nation’s largest commercial insurer is also deploying virtual care tools for its highest-risk members, including a home-based care management tool and expanded access to its digital care management tools.

“We are making every effort to protect the health of our members by keeping them safe in their homes while still enabling them to get the care they need,” said UnitedHealthcare CEO Dirk McMahon in a statement.


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