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Dealing with COVID-19's massive impact on employers, employee benefits, 401(k) and pension plans, health insurance, and more.

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In mild coronavirus cases, costs per infected person are estimated at about $250; in moderate cases, $2,500; severe cases requiring an inpatient stay could hit $30,000. (Photo: Shutterstock)

Employers’ health care benefit costs could jump by as much as 7 percent this year due to the COVID-19 outbreak – on top of the 5 percent increase that employers had previously projected before the pandemic, according to an actuarial analysis of self-funded employers by Willis Towers Watson.

“Despite employers and employees taking the right precautions at this perilous time, the coronavirus continues to spread and place enormous pressure on our nation’s health care system,” says Trevis Parson, the company’s chief actuary. “This spike in the demand for care is likely to lead to a significant jump in employer health care costs beyond previous expectations. However, the ultimate financial impact will depend on many factors, including the portion of the population infected and the severity of their illness.”

Katie Kuehner-Hebert

Katie Kuehner-Hebert is a freelance writer based in Running Springs, Calif. She has more than three decades of journalism experience, with particular expertise in employee benefits and other human resource topics.

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