Health insurers address new coronavirus: 5 updates

Commercial health insurers and industry trade groups are taking action to prepare members for the novel coronavirus.

Five things to know:

1. America's Health Insurance Plans, one of the health insurance industry's largest trade groups, said it is working directly with the CDC to help share information with Americans. The trade group said health insurers are carefully monitoring the situation and following emergency preparedness plans, which may include new policies like easing network requirements, prescription drug coverage, referral requirements and cost-sharing.  

2. The Cigna Foundation committed up to $300,000 to support healthcare providers and patients directly affected by COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus. Cigna made the donation to Give2Asia, which is working to increase access to medical supplies and provide support for front-line healthcare workers. The insurer also has an information page on the coronavirus outbreak.

3. UnitedHealthcare, the health insurance arm of UnitedHealth Group, published a report on COVID-19. The document contains information on travel restrictions and other ways countries are attempting to contain the virus. 

4. CVS Health and its subsidiary Aetna are monitoring the situation and creating travel, work-from-home and other guidelines for employees. For MinuteClinic patients, CVS said it is working with local health departments related to COVID-19 and will offer virtual visits in 40 states and Washington, D.C. 

5. Anthem largely directed its members to the CDC for the most up-to-date information, and advised people to stay home if they're sick. 

More articles on payers:
5 things to know about Harmony, the UnitedHealth plan directing members to Optum physicians
Indiana health system CEO: There's 'a lot of ground to make up' in Anthem deal
Aetna partners with Emory, Northside in Atlanta to boost insurance offerings

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