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Insurer Anthem lays out $2.5 billion spending plan, offers premium discounts

(Reuters) - Health insurer Anthem Inc ANTM.N said on Thursday it will spend $2.5 billion in financial assistance, including issuing one-month premium credit to members enrolled in certain insurance plans.

The company said delays to routine care and elective procedures, combined with shelter-in-place orders across the country, resulted in lower volumes of healthcare claims for its health plans.

Anthem's move comes a month after U.S. health insurer UnitedHealth Group Inc UNH.N said it plans to spend $1.5 billion on its customers, in part by issuing credits against some commercial health insurance premiums.

Insurers have gained financially as Americans have cut back on medical appointments under stay-at-home orders designed to help slow the spread of the virus and allow hospitals and doctors to focus on COVID-19 patients.

Reporting by Ankur Banerjee in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta

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