Experts: Pandemic Could Spark Higher Premiums, M&A
Many of the nation’s largest health insurers have now waived patient cost sharing and prior authorization requirements for treatment of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. Experts praise payers for making the change, but say the moves could have negative financial impacts for some firms. The same experts believe consolidation is likely if payers and providers struggle with liquidity.
Payers waiving coinsurance include Anthem, Inc., UnitedHealth Group, Cigna Corp., Centene Corp., Humana Inc. and some Blue Cross Blue Shield plans. Companies that have relaxed prior authorization requirements include Anthem, Centene and Humana. (For a more complete list, see p. 5.)