Severe Flu Season Won’t Do Much Harm to Health Insurers’ Earnings Growth

Influenza cases and hospitalizations — which dipped in 2020 and 2021 as the public took steps like masking and staying home to slow transmission of COVID-19 — are back this year with a vengeance.

But while one equities analyst recently warned investors that such “heightened flu activity” could impact financial metrics for payers that haven’t priced for such a scenario, a credit rating analyst tells AIS Health, a division of MMIT, that insurers aren’t likely to take a major hit.

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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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