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Borrow Medicare network and billing for coronavirus crisis insurance

As the shortage of testing kits for the novel coronavirus begins to wane in the coming days and weeks, the nation is going to face an even more difficult truth: Our health insurance system is not designed to fund the treatment for this serious threat. We need a public health crisis insurance program to pay for coronavirus diagnosis, treatment and recovery services for everyone in America. And we don’t need to start from scratch: We can base it on Medicare.

Today, hundreds of different public and private insurers each have their own coverage rules, prior authorization requirements, and co-payments and deductibles. Many health plans have narrow networks that allow patients only to go to certain labs, physicians, and hospitals. In a usual time, these challenges might just be nuisances. During an epidemic of a contagious respiratory disease, however, this lack of coherence will undermine the national response.

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