Mar 1, 2020
Taking Extraordinary Actions in Extraordinary Times

A message from Bruce Broussard, Humana President and CEO, and David Cordani, Cigna Corporation President and CEO

Extraordinary people overcome extraordinary events to turn tragedy into triumph. We have proven this time and time again throughout U.S. history. When the private sector, the government and our communities come together and harness the greatness and power of our diversity, ingenuity, creativity and innovation – there is nothing that we cannot overcome.

The situation we find ourselves in battling Coronavirus is unprecedented in our country’s modern medical history. We’re learning more every day, and the flow of information – and misinformation – can be overwhelming. But also emerging every day are a number of bright spots – examples of people coming together in extraordinary ways to help in any way they can, including through an unprecedented collaboration of health care organizations and leaders, and by the government and private sector working together for the greater good.

It all starts with the efforts of our frontline health care workers: the doctors, nurses, hospital personnel, and many other public health heroes who are caring for the sick in our communities. In the most stressful and chaotic environments imaginable, and despite extreme risks to themselves and their families, they are answering the call of duty. Why? Because their patients and their country desperately need them. They deserve our eternal gratitude.

Government leaders are also taking action. Congress and the President are speeding up support to hospitals, doctors, businesses and workers, from critical investments in equipment to direct assistance to cover immediate expenses. State and local officials – our governors especially – are mobilizing on the ground to expand medical care, educate citizens, and contain the spread of the virus.

Our industry leaders are stepping in as well. We are more than just the health insurers of yesterday – we now offer a wide range of services and programs that help coordinate care for our customers – from chronic care programs to the management of complex treatment regimens to a wide range of clinical support. We have transformed into health services companies that assist our customers, and partner with their health care providers, at every step along their health care journey.

Tens of millions of Americans are covered by private plans through Medicare Advantage and Medicaid managed care. Hundreds of millions of Americans rely on coverage they get through work. In this current health crisis, our commitment to ensure that cost and access are never barriers to Coronavirus testing and treatment for these millions of Americans that we serve is unwavering.

As integral partners in health care, we are waiving costs for testing, deploying data and technology to coordinate care with doctors and hospitals, speeding the move of non-Coronavirus hospital patients to alternative care locations, and utilizing our own doctors, nurses, and care managers to open new pathways to care. Together, these solutions will maximize capacity, minimize costs, and help ensure people get the care they need.

We are also working closely with doctors and public programs like Medicare Advantage to expand access to telehealth. This vital technology effectively connects patients with doctors, nurses, behavioral health professionals, and licensed clinical social workers to get the care they need – while protecting patients, providers, and the public by limiting physical interaction.

Yet now, as this health crisis continues to unfold and more businesses are at risk, we see a greater number of Americans concerned with how to cover their health care costs. One of the key guiding principles for our industry is to ensure we are working to make health care affordable for everyone. Today, that call becomes more important with every passing day.

That’s why both of our companies are taking action to waive consumer costs for Coronavirus treatments for the patients we cover during this crisis – from Medicare Advantage enrollees, to employees who are covered through work, to those who buy their own coverage: No copays, no coinsurance, no deductibles. No patient should have to worry about treatment costs in a time of crisis. We are doing all that we can to remove this uncertainty – not because it is the profitable thing to do – but because it is the right thing to do.

We are also continuing to work with our federal and state government officials to stabilize the health care system. We believe in the power of private-public partnerships and, working together, we believe that there is so much more we can still do. The Administration and Congress have already taken bold action to respond to this crisis and support the business community, workers, families and health care workers – and we thank them for their efforts.

We can leverage the power of those actions to further ensure Americans have access to the care they need, whether through: additional open enrollment periods in the individual markets; further regulatory flexibility and support to expand telehealth services that make it easier for providers to treat patients anywhere in the country; or further support to expand in-home health solutions that can tremendously benefit Americans in need of convenient care, particularly those 65 and older who are at a higher risk for infection.

We will continue to do our part to support those on the frontlines and our fellow Americans by delivering on these types of concrete solutions that can yield immediate results.

The strength of the human spirit in this challenging time has been extraordinary – and humbling. This is what has fueled our great country for over 200 years and will propel us forward through one of the greatest challenges to our health care system.