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Health Insurers Widen Coverage for COVID-19

By Prosper Junior Bakiny - Mar 16, 2020 at 6:52PM

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Those with private insurance who contract COVID-19 will get a lot of help from their insurers to cover the costs related to the disease.

The COVID-19 pandemic risks putting enormous pressure on the public. Many companies are choosing to close their doors temporarily, and others are opting to cut their workers' hours because of a decrease in demand for their products and services. In other words, many workers will see a significant reduction in their income, at least for a little while. Also, many fear that receiving treatment for the rapidly spreading disease may put additional strain on their financial situation.

Fortunately, insurance companies don't intend to abandon their clients in this crisis.

Doctor holding a piggy bank

Image source: Getty Images.

Health insurance companies are helping to foot the bill

Health insurers had previously agreed to cover the cost of COVID-19 screening tests for their clients, but some of these companies are now deciding to cover the cost of office visits related to the disease as well. For instance, Cigna (CI), one of the largest health insurers in the U.S., recently said it would "waive customer cost-sharing for office visits related to COVID-19 testing through May 31, 2020."

It's unclear what effect the current crisis will have on health insurance companies. And while health insurance stocks recently benefited from the results of the Democratic primaries on Super Tuesday, many of them have performed more or less in line with the broader market year to date. For instance, shares of Cigna are down by 26.2% since the beginning of the year, while the S&P 500 is down by 26.3%. Elsewhere, shares of healthcare giant CVS Health (CVS -0.74%) are down by 29.3%, while shares of Anthem (ANTM 2.71%) are down by 25.9%. 

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Stocks Mentioned

CVS Health Corporation Stock Quote
CVS Health Corporation
CVS
$92.66 (-0.74%) $0.69
Cigna Corporation Stock Quote
Cigna Corporation
CI
Anthem, Inc. Stock Quote
Anthem, Inc.
ANTM
$482.58 (2.71%) $12.71

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

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