With COVID-19 now officially a pandemic, the first step healthcare payers (and all employers) must take is trifold: ensure business resiliency, establish a crisis response structure, and secure employee safety. Payers will specifically be called on to continue leading the way in supporting the greater public health response, according to Chris Bernene, Partner in Health & Life Sciences at Oliver Wyman and Jim Fields, Global Head of Health Services at Oliver Wyman. Oliver Wyman is an affiliate of Guy Carpenter.
Overall, the nationwide payer response has been overwhelmingly positive, constructive, and resourceful. Some ways payers are driving change include waiving COVID-19-related out-of-pocket costs, providing customers with reliable and clear health information, and providing their local communities with support resources. Actions like these must remain top priorities in the coming weeks.