COVID-19 leaves health insurance costs uncertain with pandemic hospitalizations rising, says GlobalData

The costs of treatment and the impact that the COVID-19 pandemic is having on the healthcare system remains a concern, says GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

Johanna Swanson, Product Manager at GlobalData, comments: “The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on health insurers remains uncertain as the numbers of infections and hospitalizations due to COVID 19 have large variations in the estimated final costs for testing and treatment. The true impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on health insurance premiums will not be known until later in the year.”

Costs of the pandemic on health care providers could be offset by the many elective procedures have been cancelled or postponed by hospitals or patients due to concerns over safety during the pandemic. This situation could be turned around by having universal healthcare for US citizens not based on profit; however, that is unlikely to happen in the current political climate.

Swanson continues: “Several states that did not expand Medicaid through the Affordable Care Act were unable to receive billions of dollars in federal funding that could have been used to cover costs for uninsured patients and reduce hospital and healthcare provider losses. As these decisions were done for political reasons, this is now costing US citizens and states revenues that will be severely missed during the coming recession.

“Some health insurance companies have taken a proactive stance by waiving the costs for COVID-19 treatment. Additionally, states including Texas, Michigan, and Vermont have passed regulations to waive costs associated with COVID-19, and North Carolina has expanded Medicaid coverage to unemployed workers during the pandemic. Though the burden of dealing with this healthcare bureaucracy is again passed on to the workers when they are already emotionally and economically stressed.”

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