An estimated 72% of the two largest commercial health insurers in each state and the District of Columbia are no longer waiving patient cost sharing for COVID-19 treatment, according to an analysis released yesterday by the Kaiser Family Foundation. Based on data from insurer websites and America’s Health Insurance Plans, almost half the 102 health plans examined ended their cost-sharing waivers by April 2021 and another 10% expected them to expire by the end of October, the authors said.
Only 36% of employers with at least 50 workers responding to the 2021 KFF Employer Health Benefits Survey between January and July reported that their largest health plan waived cost sharing for COVID-19 treatment, according to preliminary results from the survey. Employers with at least 1,000 workers were more likely than smaller firms to waive enrollee cost sharing for COVID-19 treatment, the authors said. KFF plans to release the full survey results this fall. Federal law still requires all private plans to cover the entire cost associated with testing when deemed medically appropriate.