Academy of Actuaries Report Sizes Up Federal Options to Deflect Insurer Risk

Though COVID-19 has put significant pressure on the health care system at large, payers have not yet felt the financial pain confronting hospitals, since utilization for chronic and elective care is at unprecedented lows. But an anticipated spike in utilization (HPW 5/11/20, p. 4) as stay-at-home restrictions relax has led some in the health policy community to examine how the federal government might help mitigate that risk.

According to a May poll conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation, 48% of Americans have skipped or postponed medical care due to the pandemic, and 32% of that group say they will seek to resume their care in the next three months. Among the people who delayed care, 11% reported their condition worsened because of the delay. That pent-up demand could combine with some level of ongoing need for care to drive claims above anticipated 2020 amounts.

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Peter Johnson

Peter Johnson

Peter has worked as a journalist since 2011 and has covered health care since 2020. At AIS Health, Peter covers trends in finance, business and policy that affect the health insurance and pharma sectors. For Health Plan Weekly, he covers all aspects of the U.S. health insurance sector, including employer-sponsored insurance, Medicaid managed care, Medicare Advantage and the Affordable Care Act individual marketplaces. In Radar on Drug Benefits, Peter covers the operations of (and conflicts between) pharmacy benefit managers and pharmaceutical manufacturers, with a particular focus on pricing dynamics and market access. Before joining AIS Health, Peter covered transportation, public safety and local government for various outlets in Seattle, his hometown and current place of residence. He graduated with a B.A. from Colby College.

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