- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Major health insurers told President Trump on Tuesday they will include coronavirus testing in their covered benefits and waive out-of-pocket costs.

The insurance companies made the pledge in a White House meeting with Mr. Trump and Vice President Mike Pence, who is leading the U.S. response to the coronavirus.

“All the insurance companies here today have agreed to waive all copays for coronavirus testing and extend coverage for coronavirus treatment in all their benefit plans,” Mr. Pence said.

Mr. Pence said the assembled insurers — UnitedHealth, Humana and Cigna, among others — collectively insure nearly 240 million Americans through private plans or participation in the Medicaid and Medicare programs.

The U.S. is monitoring a rapidly mounting caseload of coronavirus, which has infected more than 700 people in over 30 states, according to a Johns Hopkins University tracker. The death toll is nearly 30, with Washington state hit the hardest.

As the administration expands testing, many are wondering whether patients will be able to afford it.

The White House assembled the meeting to gain commitments from insurers, which Mr. Trump described as “probably the biggest companies in the world.”

“I think that tremendous progress is being made,” the president added.

• Tom Howell Jr. can be reached at thowell@washingtontimes.com.

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