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Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

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Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Several big health insurers have quietly begun charging patients for their COVID-19 treatment, Kaiser Health News reports.

Why it matters: Insurers waived most cost-sharing for coronavirus treatments last year, but those waivers are now expiring. And the costs for people who end up in the hospital "could be substantial," per KHN.

The state of play: Anthem and Aetna have ended their cost-sharing waivers. UnitedHealth began rolling back in the fall and finished doing so by March, KHN writes.

  • Some smaller plans will continue to waive patients' costs into this summer.
  • COVID-19 vaccinations and testing should still be free, based on guidance from the White House.

Go deeper

Aug 4, 2021 - Health

World surpasses 200 million COVID cases

A woman in Gurugram, India get a COVID-19 vaccine dose. Photo: Vipin Kumar/Hindustan Times via Getty Images

The number of COVID-19 infections worldwide topped 200 million on Wednesday, according to the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center.

Why it matters: The milestone highlights the effect of the highly contagious Delta variant. It took about a year for the world to reach 100 million cases, and only six months to double that, the New York Times reported.

Aug 4, 2021 - Health

Illinois announces mask mandate for schools, vaccinations for state workers

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) announced Wednesday that the state would institute a mask mandate for preschool through high school students and staff and a vaccine mandate for some state employees.

Why it matters: The move comes as surging COVID-19 cases driven by the Delta variant in Illinois have led to rising hospitalization, ICU occupancy and ventilator use rates, per the governor's press release.

Aug 5, 2021 - Health

What it's like to go to an in-person conference during Delta

About 500 people attended the big auto industry conference in Traverse City, Mich. Photo: Katie Ramsburgh, Center for Automotive Research

This week I'm attending my first professional conference in 18 months, but unfortunately, I'm afraid it might be my last for a while.

Why it matters: COVID-19 cases are surging again, driven by the highly contagious Delta variant, triggering a sudden tightening of corporate travel policies and raising serious doubts about in-person conferences and events.

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