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Statement By The AHIP Board Of Directors: Taking Action To Address Coronavirus COVID-19

posted by AHIP

on March 5, 2020

As the Board of Directors for America’s Health Insurance Plans, we are fully committed to help America’s powerful health care system meet the challenges posed by the Coronavirus strain COVID-19.

As our country prepares for the possibility of widespread infections and takes action to mitigate the impact, our priority is the health and well-being of the people we serve. There are three critical areas health insurance providers are proactively addressing right now: Prevention, testing, and treatment.

We are taking decisive action to help prevent the spread of this disease, to ensure that people have coverage for and access to needed testing, and to help patients who are infected receive the care and treatment they need. Specifically, we are taking critical steps to:

1. Work with public and private-sector partners to implement solutions so that out-of-pocket costs are not a barrier to people seeking testing for, and treatment of, COVID-19. 

  • We will cover needed diagnostic testing when ordered by a physician. We will take action to ease network, referral, and prior authorization requirements and/or waive patient cost sharing. We will also take action so that patients will have continuous access to their regular prescription medications while at the same time avoiding potential problems such as drug shortages.
  • We will develop solutions for state and federal policymakers to provide more guidance and more flexibility so that changes to preventive services, benefit design, and treatment options can help people immediately.

2. Partner with doctors, hospitals, and other care providers to ensure that effective treatment is available for those who are infected

  • We are sharing information with clinicians, mobilizing our network providers, and coordinating through care management programs to ensure that they have the best, most immediate data to identify, diagnose, and treat infections.
  • We are encouraging the use of telehealth, at-home care, and other technology-enabled options to expand access to care and avoid potential risks of infection. State and federal policymakers can expand access to these effective solutions with additional policy flexibility.

3. Educate and inform the people we serve on the most effective ways to prevent the spread of this disease. 

  • We will continue to work directly with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC); federal agencies and task forces; and every necessary partner in states, cities, and counties across the country to coordinate efforts, share information, mitigate health risks, and keep Americans informed.
  • We are proactively engaging the American people, particularly those who are most at-risk for infection such as seniors and patients with chronic diseases, on common-sense steps that everyone can take to stay healthy.

Health insurance providers will devote our resources, insights, and abilities to collaborate with key partners to confront and resolve this challenge. Working together with federal, state and community leaders; clinicians; pharmacies; drug makers; medical equipment providers; and other essential partners, we are confident that we can collectively overcome this challenge and keep the American people safe and healthy.

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