Pence: Major health insurers have agreed to waive copays for coronavirus tests

Vice President Pence said Tuesday that a group of major health insurance companies have agreed not to charge patients copays when they get tested for coronavirus. 

Pence made the comments at a meeting at the White House with the CEOs of major health insurance companies aimed at encouraging people to get tested by removing cost barriers. 

Some insurance companies had already announced they were waiving copays, but Pence’s announcement appeared to cover a larger group. 

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“I'm pleased to report that as you requested, Mr. President, that all the insurance companies here, either today, or before today, have agreed to waive all copays on coronavirus testing, and extend coverage for coronavirus treatment in all of their benefit plans,” Pence said while seated next to President TrumpDonald John TrumpDeSantis on Florida schools reopening: 'If you can do Walmart,' then 'we absolutely can do schools' NYT editorial board calls for the reopening of schools with help from federal government's 'checkbook' Mueller pens WaPo op-ed: Roger Stone 'remains a convicted felon, and rightly so' MORE and the insurance CEOs. 

Pence said the companies gathered represent almost 240 million Americans. 

The leaders of major health insurers, including UnitedHealth Group, Anthem, Cigna, Humana, Aetna and the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association were at the meeting, according to the White House. 

Pence said the insurers had agreed to cover telemedicine to allow people to speak to their doctors remotely about the coronavirus. He also said they had agreed to “no surprise billing.”

The details of those announcements were not immediately clear. 

“We all have the same commitment to making sure that cost is not a barrier to people getting tested and treated,” said Matt Eyles, CEO of the trade group America’s Health Insurance Plans, in the meeting.