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Photo: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

UnitedHealthcare is delaying a new policy, at least until the "end of the national public health emergency period," that would have declined or limited coverage of an emergency room visit if the visit was found to be non-emergent after the fact.

The big picture: Patients, doctors and hospitals slammed the policy, arguing it violated federal law that requires all emergency care to be covered as long as a "prudent layperson" believes it was an emergency.

Between the lines: The coronavirus pandemic already led to large reductions in patients seeking ER care, leaving experts to wonder why the nation's largest health insurer now wanted to initiate a change that would force patients to diagnose themselves and self-ration care.

  • Anthem tried an almost identical policy back in 2018 and is facing a lawsuit from emergency physicians over that policy.

Go deeper

Jun 9, 2021 - Health

New Alzheimer's drug could blow up health spending

Expand chart
Reproduced from KFF and Bernstein; Chart: Axios Visuals

Biogen's new Alzheimer's treatment could be experts' nightmare drug spending scenario: An extremely expensive product that millions of desperate patients could be eligible for — and it may not even work.

Why it matters: Alzheimer's is a devastatingly common disease with no cure. But the FDA's decision this week paved the way for a free-for-all in which taxpayers foot most of the enormous bill for a drug that hasn't been proven effective.

Ina Fried, author of Login
Updated 4 mins ago - Technology

Windows goes to 11

Screenshot: Axios

Microsoft on Thursday offered a first look at Windows 11, coming this holiday season. The new version changes both the look of the operating system as well as its underlying business model, as well as supporting Android apps for the first time.

Why it matters: Windows has been steadily losing market share on the desktop, which has itself lost prominence to smartphones.

Rudy Giuliani suspended from practicing law in New York over false election claims

Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Rudy Giuliani has been suspended from practicing law in the state of New York due to his false statements about the 2020 election, according to a court filing.

Driving the news: A New York court ruled that Giuliani made "demonstrably false and misleading statements to courts, lawmakers and the public at large in his capacity as lawyer for former President Donald J. Trump."