UnitedHealth Group will provide more than $1.5 billion in initial assistance, including customer premium credits, to its UnitedHealthcare customers as many people have been unable to access routine or planned care due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Consequently, UnitedHealthcare has seen a lower volume of medical care being delivered than was anticipated when pricing was initially established.
For UnitedHealthcare commercial fully insured individual and employer customers, credits ranging from 5% to 20% -- depending upon the specific plan -- will be applied to premium billings in June.
For people served by UnitedHealthcare Medicare Advantage plans, all specialist and primary physician cost sharing will be waived at least through the end of September, helping remove barriers for seniors needing to access care. For those served by UnitedHealthcare and AARP with Medicare Supplement policies, both new and renewal premium pricing will benefit.
Additionally, UnitedHealthcare will expand its Housing+Health and homeless support programs for those served by UnitedHealthcare Medicaid plans, providing individuals with shelf stable food and baby formula, and accelerating funds to state partners and critical providers to serve more people.
“Our core values of integrity, compassion, relationships, innovation and performance guide our actions in this difficult and complex situation,” said David S. Wichmann, chief executive officer of UnitedHealth Group. “Amid the uncertainty over how this crisis will evolve in the months ahead, we will continuously review the effectiveness of and need for additional actions and we will act swiftly to support individuals, customers and care providers.”
These actions build on UnitedHealth Group’s ongoing efforts to fight COVID-19 by applying clinical, analytics and technological expertise to expand coverage, stabilize the health care system, protect the health care workforce, and assist those hardest-hit by the pandemic. Other actions include:
- Waiving cost-sharing for COVID-19 testing and treatment.
- Accelerating nearly $2 billion to health care providers to support liquidity needs.
- Initially investing more than $70 million to help communities in need and protect the health care workforce.
- Significantly expanding access to telehealth and redeploying 10,000 Optum clinicians to expand telehealth capabilities.
- Converting company cafeterias to provide more than 75,000 meals a week for people in need and keeping our cafe team at work.
- Pioneering a noninvasive, self-administered COVID-19 test that streamlines testing, reduces personal protective equipment usage and increases safety of health care workers.
- Simplifying access to care by reducing prior authorization requirements.
- Providing a special enrollment period for fully insured customers to allow employees who did not opt in for coverage during the regular enrollment period to get coverage.
- Launching a free nationwide emotional support line to manage the stress and anxiety caused by COVID-19.