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Though initial estimates of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on health insurance premiums may have been overstated, there’s still no concrete picture of what the final effect of the pandemic will be. Though insurers right now are benefiting from a significant decline in routine and elective care (and passing those savings back to consumers, in some cases), those delays could create more expensive issues later. In addition, while the cost of covering COVID-19-related claims so far has been offset by the decrease in claims, a second outbreak later in the year could add tip the scales.

As such, there’s no clear picture for what to expect health insurance premiums to look like next year, given the number of variables and potential risks at play. Even without knowing those, however, there are actions the government could take, and possibly include in future stimulus bills, that would mitigate insurers’ risk and encourage them to hold premiums stable for 2021. These actions were explored by the American Academy of Actuaries in a recent issue brief.

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Emily Payne

Emily Payne is the current deputy editor for ALM's Business & Finance Markets and former managing editor for BenefitsPRO. A Wisconsin native, she has spent the past decade writing and editing for various athletic and fitness publications. She holds an English degree and Business certificate from the University of Wisconsin.

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