US insurers discuss paying for coronavirus antibody testing
US health insurers may balk at covering tests that look for coronavirus antibodies in some cases, arguing that employers or the government should foot a bill expected to run into billions of dollars.
POTENTIAL COST OF ANTIBODY TESTING IS BEING DISCUSSED
Health insurers have largely escaped the economic pain wrought by the pandemic. Their profits increased as many Americans delayed more routine and expensive medical care during the recent lockdown period, while the total cost of covering coronavirus patients has been less than expected in many regions with low case numbers.
Now the industry is tallying up the potential cost of expanding both diagnostic and antibody testing, seen as a critically important component of safely reopening businesses across the country.
Diagnostic tests determine if someone is currently infected and contagious, while the antibody, or serology, tests show whether someone was previously infected and possibly immune.