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Health insurers should drop co-pays for COVID-19 patients | READER COMMENTARY

Workers wearing protective gears spray disinfectant at desks and chairs before an insurance planner qualification exam in Seoul, South Korea, Saturday, April 25, 2020. The General Insurance Association of Korea held a qualification exam while maintaining social distancing at the outdoor as a part of precaution against the new coronavirus and also all applicants had to wear face masks and had their temperature checked. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)
Workers wearing protective gears spray disinfectant at desks and chairs before an insurance planner qualification exam in Seoul, South Korea, Saturday, April 25, 2020. The General Insurance Association of Korea held a qualification exam while maintaining social distancing at the outdoor as a part of precaution against the new coronavirus and also all applicants had to wear face masks and had their temperature checked. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man) (Lee Jin-man/AP)

In the middle of a public health crisis, we must ensure everyone is able to access treatment. That is why I was glad to hear that some health insurers are putting policies in place to help Marylanders during the COVID-19 outbreak (“Maryland see boom in health insurance enrollment due to coronavirus, extends special period to sign up,” April 1). But with more than 900 insurance companies offering health coverage, more must be done.

COVID-19 is dramatically impacting families across the country. To that end, Consumers for Quality Care recently sent a letter to America’s Health Insurance Plans, the national association for health care insurers, urging all insurers to waive patient cost-sharing for medical costs related to coronavirus testing and treatment. CQC-Ipsos research shows that 66% of consumers are concerned with predicting how much they will have to pay for health care when they need it. With countless Americans across the country, including here in Maryland contracting COVID-19, insurers must be there for patients during this unprecedented time. By eliminating cost-sharing for patients, we can ensure struggling Americans aren’t afraid to seek treatment for fear of financial ruin.

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Now, more than ever, it is vital that consumers are kept at the forefront of the health care debate. Consumers for Quality Care will keep fighting for policies that cut consumer costs and increase transparency in the health care system.

Donna Christensen, Catharpin, Virginia

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