After Coronavirus Ends, Uncertainties In The Insurance System Loom

By Consumers For Quality Care, on June 3, 2020

After Coronavirus Ends, Uncertainties In The Insurance System Loom

A new article in Roll Call is reporting on the uncertain future of the U.S. health insurance market for next year, after the coronavirus pandemic wanes.

Potential impacts from the pandemic have been largely speculative, but many factors could cause rates to go up. The impact that the costs of tests and vaccines will have on premiums remains unknown. It’s also unclear how quickly routine medical visits will resume. One factor that could cause rates to spike is undiagnosed chronic conditions due to patients avoiding visits to the doctor. For example, nearly half of people who currently have chronic kidney disease are undiagnosed.

One expert on chronic diseases said their impact in the context of coronavirus may not surface for another year.

“All of those things will take time,” he said. “We don’t have the capacity to screen everyone at once when things reopen.”

Many insurers are trying to factor these possible projections into their rate requests. But overall, the impact of most factors remains unknown.

The most important piece of information that will surface in the near term is the outlook for a vaccine, said David Anderson, a research associate at the Duke University Margolis Center for Health Policy, adding that “very little can be fed into the model for this round.”