Is Waiving Copays a New Popular Change?

Confronting the Coronavirus

Source: Neilson Marketing Services | Published on March 16, 2020

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The Trump administration has made some major steps to combat the spread of the coronavirus in the United States. Despite the expected partisan criticism, President Trump has reduced travel to the U.S. during the crisis and is working to temporarily cut or eliminate payroll taxes in order to give a boost to the economy as investors panic.

On the medical side of the coin, Vice President Pence made an announcement that major insurance companies are waiving copays for Coronavirus testing and treatment as the threat grows nationally. This is a broad move that seems to have the approval of most, with some saying that it does not do enough.

Waiving Copays

Vice President Pence’s announcement included such industry giants as Anthem, Cigna, Humana and Blue Cross Blue Shield. Obviously, federal programs such as Medicare and Medicaid are included in the plan. Now it seems that private insurance companies are coming on board.

Ever since the Affordable Care Act, the government has a much more active hand in the health insurance business, and this is an example of how the two can work together. This move is intended to remove any financial barrier that would prevent a family or an individual from pursuing testing or treatment. With the infectious nature of the coronavirus, even a few who do nothing can have a major impact, and so the administration and the insurers are working to prevent this.

Obviously, this will be a short-term loss for the insurance companies, but it is also a long-term investment. Testing and early treatment will prevent a large-scale outbreak which would result in a much larger payout for the insurers. The Health and Human Services department has distributed more than 1 million coronavirus tests, with 4 million more to be shipped within days. This is a coordinated effort between the federal government and private business that is rarely seen.

The Desire to Do More

As is to be expected, there are others who are calling for the government to do more to combat the virus. For example, in the state of Texas, those on state-run health plans are asking for a similar waiver to be given for state plans. Sixteen percent of people in Texas are on such plans, so this would also be a significant favor.

Medicare for All has been a hot topic in this year’s primary and election, and proponents are using this move by the Trump administration to advocate for their cause. If having no copay during a crisis is acceptable, they argue, then why not have no copays all the time?