CENTER UPDATE | ApRil 2020

This update features policy developments, media reports, and new resources
supporting continued momentum for multiple V-BID Center initiatives.

Click here to view recent COVID-19 related policy developments.

Click here to view recent policy developments.

Click here to view recent literature relevant to V-BID.

The core V-BID principle of reducing financial barriers to essential clinical care has been a consistent theme in the federal government’s, states’, and private payers’ responses to the COVID-19 pandemic.
 
View our new infographic summarizing these policies.

March 11 - IRS Confirms High-Deductible Health Plans (HDHPs) Can Cover Coronavirus Costs

On March 11, the IRS issued Notice 2020-15 declaring that high-deductible health plans (HDHPs) can cover COVID-19 related testing and treatment on a pre-deductible basis without losing their eligibility. Read our press release here.

March 18 - Families First Coronavirus Response Act Eliminates Cost-Sharing for COVID-19 Testing

Signed into law on March 18, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act eliminates cost-sharing for COVID-19 testing and COVID related telemedicine visits. Read our press release here.

March 25 - CARES Act Expands COVID-19 Testing Coverage

Signed into into law on March 25, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) allows HDHPs to cover all telehealth (not just COVID-19 related) on a pre-deductible basis, mandates coverage of COVID-19 diagnostic testing by all plans without cost-sharing, and requires all plans to cover Coronavirus vaccine without cost-sharing.

Other COVID-19 Updates:

Opinion: Expand Medical Coverage During Pandemic

In this recent Detroit News op-ed, the V-BID Center’s Dr. Mark Fendrick and Beth Shrosbree make the case for utilizing V-BID principles to protect beneficiaries from high out-of-pocket costs for critical COVID-19 related care, as well as other clinical conditions.

Some Insurers Waive Patients' Share Of Costs For COVID-19 Treatment

Many of the nations largest health insurers, including Aetna, Cigna, and Humana, recently announced that they are waiving co-payments for coronavirus treatment nationwide.

What Are Americans’ Views on the Coronavirus Pandemic?

In a recent poll conducted by NBC News and The Commonwealth Fund, 68% of respondents said that out-of-pocket costs would be an important factor in their decision to seek care for coronavirus symptoms.

Insurance Superintendent Guarantees Free COVID-19 Testing and Treatment for New Mexicans

After an emergency rule issued by Superintendent of Insurance Russell Toal, New Mexico became the first state to prohibit health insurers from imposing any type of cost-sharing for testing and treatment related to COVID-19.

ACP Offers Resources to Assist Patient and Clinicians in Discussing Treatment Costs

The American College of Physicians released a wealth of resources for both physicians and patients on how to navigate conversations around the cost of care.

CMS Launches Part D Plan to Lower Insulin Costs

CMS is launching a new Medicare Part D program, the Senior Savings Model, that will cap out-of-pocket costs for insulin at $35 per month. Visit our website to learn more about V-BID in Medicare.

Bill to Cap Insulin Copays at $30 Passes Utah Legislature

The Insulin Access Amendments bill, which recently passed the Utah legislature, would cap copayments for insulin at $30 per month. To learn more about V-BID and drug costs, visit our drug cost iceberg initiative page.

Medication Adherence Suffers Because of High Drug Costs

This article discusses a recently published study which demonstrated that nearly 13% of patients with Atherosclerotic Cardiovascular Disease (ASCVD) were not taking their medications as prescribed due to cost. High patient out-of-pocket costs are a barrier to high-value drugs; learn how V-BID can help here.

How Would Sharing Rebates at the Point-Of-Sale Affect Beneficiary Cost-Sharing in Medicare Part D?

This white paper explores the implications of policy that would base cost-sharing for Medicare Part D beneficiaries on net price, rather than list price. According to the research, implementation of this policy would save 20 percent of beneficiaries more than $100 per year, providing needed financial relief.

Please Help Support the V-BID Center

As a non-profit entity, the V-BID Center relies on fundraising to support our research, education, and policy efforts. Please help us continue our work by donating here. We truly appreciate your consideration.