Cost arrow and disease While a lot will depend on whether and to what extent a second outbreak occurs,  a few key trends have emerged that will have major short-term impacts on health care spending and utilization.

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States, study after study has attempted to quantify the financial impact the outbreak will have on our health care system. Premiums will go up, unless they go down. Health care spending will increase, maybe? And hospital revenues are plummeting, despite packed ICUs.

As the outbreak has progressed, the outlook has become rosier in many ways, at least for employers. Because so many consumers have delayed non-essential doctor visits and procedures, some insurers are actually issuing premium rebates or waiving cost-sharing requirements. While benefits brokers and advisors finally have some good news to share with clients, they must also be prepared for the follow up question: How long will this trend continue?

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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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