That couldn’t have been more evident than the speed with which the industry’s trade group, America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), corrected President Trump last week when he said that insurers “have agreed to waive all copayments for coronavirus treatments.”
You can be sure Trump’s comment sent shockwaves through the industry. Within hours, AHIP, the industry’s largest PR and lobbying group, released a statement making clear that was not the case, that all they would waive would be cost-sharing for testing.
Yes, just testing; not treatment. For many, treatment will be considerably more expensive than testing. If insurers let their health plan members off the hook for out-of-pocket expenses related to treatment, their shareholders and Wall Street financial analysts would be apoplectic.
Case in point: My old company Cigna says it will cover the cost of COVID-19 testing — but makes no mention of waiving copays or deductibles for “treatment.” Check out their carefully crafted wording here. This isn’t a mistake. Cigna and other health insurers stand to make money from testing, or at least break even, even after waiving coronavirus test co-pays for patients. That’s because the federal government appears poised to cover all testing costs, which suggests a significant reimbursement of testing costs is coming for health insurers.
Jesus: Hey, Dad? God: Yes, Son? Jesus: Western civilization followed me home. Can I keep it? God: Certainly not! And put it down this minute--you don't know where it's been! Tom Robbins in Another Roadside Attraction