Health-care companies slipped as Covid-19 remains in focus.
A Trump administration plan announced late Wednesday would allow seniors and people in private health-insurance plans to be among those who won't be charged for a coronavirus vaccine. Medicare will cover the cost of administering the vaccine for seniors under the plan. In addition, the administration will require all providers of Covid-19 tests to post their cash prices for the tests online.
Separately, private insurers would be required to publish the prices they have negotiated with providers under a Trump administration rule completed Thursday. Insurers and hospitals have criticized the White House initiatives as too expensive and burdensome and of little use to consumers they say are unlikely to shop around based on negotiated rates.
Meanwhile, Russian-speaking criminal hackers have targeted several U.S. hospitals in recent weeks with a type of cyberattack potentially capable of disrupting critical patient care, in an apparent coordinated campaign that security experts warned could soon target hundreds more and lead to a loss of life.
Moderna signed a new contract with Japan's government to supply 50 million doses of its Covid-19 vaccine, one of the leading coronavirus shots in development, and said it received in the latest quarter $1.1 billion of deposits from other governments that had previously signed supply deals. With the new Japan contract, Moderna has committed to supplying between 175 million and more than 610 million doses to several countries, including the U.S., Canada and Switzerland, based on what the company has publicly disclosed. It also has deals with Israel and Qatar but hasn't disclosed how many doses will be supplied.
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(END) Dow Jones Newswires