March 5, 2020 / 10:14 PM / a month ago

U.S. insurers working to ease coronavirus out-of-pocket costs

March 5 (Reuters) - The U.S. health insurance industry's largest trade group on Thursday said it is committed to addressing prevention, testing and treatment for the new coronavirus strain, including making sure that out-of-pocket costs do not prevent people from seeking care.

"We are taking decisive action to help prevent the spread of this disease, to ensure that people have coverage for and access to needed testing, and to help patients who are infected receive the care and treatment they need," America's Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) said in a statement.

The group said its members, which include Cigna Corp and Anthem Inc, will cover diagnostic testing when ordered by a doctor, ease network, referral and prior authorization requirements and/or waive patient cost sharing.

"We will also take action so that patients will have continuous access to their regular prescription medications while at the same time avoiding potential problems such as drug shortages," AHIP said.

The fast-spreading coronavirus has reached some 80 nations with more new cases now reported outside China where the flu-like illness first emerged late last year.

Reporting By Deena Beasley; editing by Diane Craft

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