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Dept. of Insurance gives insurers novel cornavirus coverage guidance

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Insurance companies will be required to cover testing and other services related to the novel coronavirus.

The Delaware Department of Insurance has released a bulletin to insurers regarding COVID-19.

Insurance Commissioner Trinidad Navarro says testing and treatment has to be covered.

"We sent out a bulletin which really reminds insurers that this is a covered essential health benefit that they have to cover," said Navarro. "Now, we're fortunate in that many of these insurers have already waived their co-pays and some of the costs associated with the testing and with treatment."

Navarro’s bulletin coincides with Vice President Mike Pence’s statements on Tuesday about insurance and coronavirus testing.

Pence said a group of major health insurance companies have agreed not to charge copays for coronavirus testing.

Navarro adds those major companies operating in Delaware already said patients here won’t have to pay.

"Aetna, Cigna, Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield and United have all waved a variety of consumer cost like co-pays that means a huge majority of insured Delaware residents don't have to fear the expensive experience after showing coronavirus symptoms," Navarro said.

Navarro adds healthcare providers can use other means of patient visits, mainly through technology.

"We want to make sure it's crystal clear that not only were these benefits be covered but the other options like telemedicine would be available so that doctors don't need to have fancy products, they can use webcams or Facetime," Navarro said.

Navarro also reminded insurers that Delaware law prohibits surprise billing.

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