UnitedHealthcare, Cigna Join ‘Virtual-First’ Health Plan Fray

UnitedHealthcare and Centene Corp. have added “virtual first” plan designs to their employer-sponsored offerings, becoming the latest commercial insurance giants to offer benefit designs built around virtual primary and urgent care. Health care insiders tell AIS Health that while there is some demand among employers for such services, they don’t expect the virtual-first model to replace traditional benefit designs any time soon.

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Peter Johnson

Peter Johnson

Peter has worked as a journalist since 2011 and has covered health care since 2020. At AIS Health, Peter covers trends in finance, business and policy that affect the health insurance and pharma sectors. For Health Plan Weekly, he covers all aspects of the U.S. health insurance sector, including employer-sponsored insurance, Medicaid managed care, Medicare Advantage and the Affordable Care Act individual marketplaces. In Radar on Drug Benefits, Peter covers the operations of (and conflicts between) pharmacy benefit managers and pharmaceutical manufacturers, with a particular focus on pricing dynamics and market access. Before joining AIS Health, Peter covered transportation, public safety and local government for various outlets in Seattle, his hometown and current place of residence. He graduated with a B.A. from Colby College.

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