2021 Outlook: Impact of Pandemic Utilization Trends Remains Unclear
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the managed care industry has wrestled with how to project utilization of normal care and assess the risk of funding care related to the virus, especially since most carriers have elected to waive cost sharing for COVID-19 treatment. While insurers generally seem to be in good financial shape, experts say that plans face continuing uncertainty — and one actuary suggests that pandemic-related financial risk has met or exceeded the conditions of his modeling’s worst-case scenario.
In the early days of 2021, the U.S. confronted a grim milestone when the tally of Americans who died from COVID-19 reached 400,000. Meanwhile, the Trump administration was criticized for how it handled vaccine rollout and denounced critical public health tactics including mask wearing, while states reopened their economies and public spaces to varying degrees, despite the objections of public health officials.