Published: April 2020

All insurers must make coronavirus tests and treatment free to patients

Americans have been urged to seek medical help if they are showing symptoms of COVID-19, but out-of-pocket costs could put insured patients into serious medical debt, or worse, deter them from seeking treatment at all — causing undue suffering and death, and exacerbating the pandemic. A coalition of more than 80 advocacy groups came together to urge all health insurance corporations to waive all patient fees for care associated with COVID-19, including copays and deductibles.

Advocates joined together in urging ten of the largest health insurers by market share to waive all fees associated with COVID-19 treatment, including UnitedHealthCare, Kaiser Permanente, Anthem, Humana, Aetna, Health Care Service Corporation (HCSC), Centene, Cigna, Wellcare and Molina.

One third of Americans report that they or a family member avoided going to the doctor when sick or injured in the past year due to costs – meaning that many Americans put off care rather than risk medical debt and even bankruptcy. With the average health insurance deductible being between $1,800 and $6,500 per year, waiving all coronavirus patient costs is a critical step in tackling this public health emergency. 

Lead Organization

Public Citizen

Other Organizations

African American Health Alliance | AIDS Foundation of Chicago | AIDS Healthcare Foundation | AIDS United | America Family Voices | American Federation of Teachers | American Kidney Fund | American Medical Student Association | American Muslim Health Professionals | American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) | APLA Health | Asian Counseling and Referral Service | Caring Across Generations | Center for LGBTQ Economic Advancement & Research | Center for Popular Democracy | Children's Defense Fund - California | Citizen Action of Wisconsin | Coalition on Human Needs | Congregation of Our Lady of the Good Shepherd, U.S. Provinces | Consumer Action | Debs-Jones-Douglass Institute | Democratic Socialists of America | End AIDS Now | Equality North Carolina | EverThrive Illinois | Faith in Healthcare | Families USA | Georgia Equality | GLMA: Health Professionals Advancing LGBTQ Equality | HealthHIV | HIV + Hepatitis Policy Institute | HIV Dental Alliance | Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility | International Association of Machinists & Aerospace Workers | International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers | Just Care USA | Justice in Aging | League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) | MomsRising | Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) | NASTAD | National Advocacy Center of the Sisters of the Good Shepherd | National Alliance on Mental Illness | National Association of Social Workers | National Center for Transgender Equality | National Council of Jewish Women | National Education Association | National Employment Law Project | National Health Care for the Homeless Council | National Health Law Program | National Organization for Women | National Partnership for Women & Families | National WIC Association | National Women's Health Network | National Women’s Law Center | NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice | Oklahoma Policy Institute | Partners for Dignity & Rights | Partnership for America’s Children | People's Action | Physicians for a National Health Program | Planned Parenthood Federation of America | Progress America | Progressive Democrats Of America | Public Advocacy for Kids (PAK) | Public Citizen | Right Care Alliance | San Francisco AIDS Foundation | Shriver Center on Poverty Law | Social Security Works | Tennessee Justice Center | Texans Care for Children | The AIDS Institute | The Arc of the United States | The Zero Hour with RJ Eskow | TPAN| Treatment Action Group | Universal Health Care Action Network | Universal Health Care Foundation of Connecticut | We All Rise | Virginia Organizing

More Information

For more information, please visit Public Citizen.

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All insurers must make coronavirus tests and treatment free to patients   (An_Open_Letter_to_the_Top_10_Private_Health_Insurance_Companies.pdf)




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