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Texas: Governor Abbott, TDI ask insurance providers to waive Wuhan coronavirus costs

Christian Fernsby |
Governor Greg Abbott and the Texas Department of Insurance (TDI) today announced that they have asked health insurers and health maintenance organizations operating in Texas to waive costs associated with the testing and telemedicine visits for the diagnosis of Wuhan coronavirus.

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Additionally, TDI is requesting that insurers report their actions related to consumer cost-sharing and access to services so that the department can ensure consumers are aware of their available benefits.

TDI is specifically requesting insurers to take the following actions as they relate to Wuhan coronavirus:

Waive co-payments, co-insurance, and deductibles for testing that is consistent with guidance issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Waive consumer cost-sharing and facilitate expanded use of telemedicine.

Cover necessary medical equipment, supplies, and services.

Waive penalties, restrictions, and claims denials for necessary out-of-network services.

Waive requirements for pre-authorization, referrals, notification of hospital admission, or medical necessity reviews for care consistent with CDC guidance.

Allow extra time for health providers and facilities to file claims.

Authorize payment to pharmacies for up to a 90-day supply of any prescription medication for individuals, regardless of when the prescription was filled.

The following health insurers and health maintenance organizations have already begun to waive cost-sharing for medically-necessary testing of COVID-19, with more being announced in the coming days:

Aetna (CVS)
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas
Cigna Health of Texas, Inc.
Community Health Choice, Inc.
Golden Rule Insurance (UHC)
Humana Health Plan of Texas, Inc.
Molina Healthcare Insurance Company of Texas
Oscar Insurance Company
Scott and White Health Plan
Superior Health Plan (Centene)
United Healthcare Insurance Company.

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