News Briefs

A joint report by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Urban Institute found that “despite millions of Americans losing their job due to COVID-19, changes to people’s health insurance coverage might not be as widespread as anticipated.” The report is a meta- analysis of four studies on pandemic- related health insurance losses conducted over the course of spring and summer by the Urban Institute, Kaiser Family Foundation and Families USA. All four studies found or anticipated job losses in amounts approaching or exceeding 22 million people, and anticipated loss of coverage for at least 2.9 million people. The meta-analysis observes that “we probably will not fully understand actual shifts in insurance coverage until 2021, when results from large federal household surveys conducted in 2020 are released. Even then, some of the effect of the economic disruption due to the coronavirus pandemic may continue through 2021, and not be evident until 2022.” Read the report at https://rwjf.ws/32rAYjA.

A new analysis by America’s Health Insurance Providers (AHIP) highlighted the issue of price gouging in COVID-19 testing. The report, based on a survey of health insurers, found the average COVID-19 test was billed to commercial payers at a cost of $130. The analysis also found that 9.4% of claims for COVID-19 tests were from out-of-network providers. According to AHIP, “health insurance providers proactively eliminated patient cost-sharing for COVID-19 diagnostic testing and treatment” at the beginning of the crisis. The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act requires health plans to provide medically necessary testing without cost sharing. See https://bit.ly/3b4ePMb.

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AIS Health Staff

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