COVID’s Not Over: Fitch, S&P Say Pandemic Forces Are Still Hitting Insurers

Although 2024 seems far removed from the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, the ripple effects associated with that disruptive global crisis are still influencing how this year will turn out for the U.S. health insurance sector, two top credit ratings firms predict.

“We’re calling it the pandemic hangover,” says Brad Ellis, senior director in Fitch Ratings’ North American insurance rating group.

“I think this year might be the last year we’re seeing what we call pandemic-related effects on the industry,” adds James Sung, director of insurance ratings at S&P Global.

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Leslie Small

Leslie Small

Leslie has been working in journalism since 2009 and reporting on the health care industry since 2014. She has covered the many ups and downs of the Affordable Care Act exchanges, the failed health insurer mega-mergers, and hundreds of other storylines spanning subjects such as Medicaid managed care, Medicare Advantage, employer-sponsored insurance, and prescription drug coverage. As the managing editor of Health Plan Weekly and Radar on Drug Benefits, she writes and edits for both publications while overseeing a small team of reporters who also focus on the managed care sector. Before joining AIS Health, she was a senior editor for the e-newsletter Fierce Health Payer, and she started her career as a copy editor at multiple local newspapers. She graduated with a dual degree in journalism and political science from Penn State University.

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