UnitedHealth, Too Busy With Profits, Leaves Coronavirus Patients in the Dark

Statement of Eagan Kemp, Health Care Advocate, Public Citizen

Note: UnitedHealth Group Inc., which recently reported its most profitable quarter in history, is scheduled to end today its offer for free coronavirus care for enrollees, despite the rising incidence of the virus in many parts of the country. Earlier this year, many insurers announced that they would waive out-of-pocket costs for coronavirus care, with caveats, with most offers originally scheduled to end in June or July. Following a Public Citizen report, most of these insurers extended the deadlines for these waivers.

Apparently, these insurers are too busy counting their unconscionable profits to inform their enrollees whether the cost of patients’ coronavirus care is still covered. Couldn’t UnitedHealth  have used any of their $6.6 billion in profits to extend their offer indefinitely and reassure their enrollees that they won’t face financial hardship – especially as many Americans fear seeking treatment for the virus due to costs?

The confusion enrollees are experiencing during this historic pandemic underscores how unethical and unnecessary for-profit private insurers are, and why we need Medicare for All. These companies put profit over patient needs during the best of times, and profit from them even more during the worst of times.

I honestly don’t know how UnitedHealth executives sleep at night, but I assume pillows filled with cash certainly help.