Shares of health insurance giants Cigna (CI) - Get Report and Humana (HUM) - Get Report were flat on Monday after both companies announced they were are waiving copayments and customer cost-sharing for all treatments related to coronavirus Covid-19.
The coverage moves take effect Monday and run through May 31 for all Cigna customers, while for Humana clients “no end date” was given. The waiver of copayments include both in-network and out-of-network medical care providers treating patients with Covid-19.
“Our customers with Covid-19 should focus on fighting this virus and preventing its spread,” Cigna CEO David Cordani said in a statement accompanying the disclosure by President Donald Trump. “While our customers focus on regaining their health, we have their backs.”
“We know we’re uniquely positioned to help our members during this unprecedented health crisis,” Humana CEO Bruce Broussard said. “No American should be concerned about the cost of care when being treated for coronavirus.”
“That’s a lot of money they are waiving,” Trump said of Cigna and Humana in a White House press conference on Sunday following the announcements.
Both companies’ decisions come as health insurance firms face unprecedented strains in how they juxtapose individuals that require medical care related to the pandemic with an economy that has come to a sudden stop, leaving Americans in a position of having to choose between spending money on healthcare or on necessities.
For their part, Cigna and Humana as well as other health insurance companies are actually expanding coverage and eliminating plan member cost-sharing for coronavirus tests to tele-health consultations for disease-screening to in-office doctor’s visits.
Cigna is covering individuals “covered under Medicare or other applicable state regulations” such as hospital admissions, home oxygen, albuterol nebulizers and all of the prescription drugs Medicare covers. “The company will reimburse health care providers at Cigna's in-network rates or Medicare rates, as applicable,” Cigna said.
Humana said costs related to subsequent treatment for Covid-19, including in-patient hospital admissions, will be waived for enrollees of “Medicare Advantage plans, fully insured commercial members, Medicare Supplement and Medicaid.”
Shares of Cigna were up 2.77% at $165.75 in trading on Monday, while shares of Humana were up 2.43% at $303.66.