Pandemic Will Decrease Costs, But Deferral Impact Looms

Health insurers will probably have lower health care expenditures in 2020 and 2021 than before the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a new analysis from Willis Towers Watson. However, the white paper, which analyzed several scenarios of the severity of the pandemic, emphasizes that substantial risk is still possible, particularly from policy and politics — and says plan sponsors need to take proactive steps to blunt the future impact of deferred care.

The policy environment could change suddenly and dramatically depending on the outcome of California v. Texas, a suit that could lead the Supreme Court to overturn the Affordable Care Act, and the presidential election. Trevis Parson, Willis Towers Watson’s managing director and chief actuary for health and benefits, who coauthored the analysis, says that uncertainty in the policy arena dominated his research.

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Peter Johnson

Peter has been a reporter for nearly a decade. Before joining AIS Health, Peter covered a wide variety of topics in his hometown of Seattle, where he continues to live. Peter’s work has appeared in publications including The Atlantic and The Stranger. Peter attended Colby College.

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