Cost arrow and disease Current health care cost reductions are being driven less by factors such as improved system efficiency or health outcomes and more by economic pressures.

Employers trying to project the cost of health-care plans in 2021 may have their work cut out for them. The future course of the pandemic, the availability of effective vaccines and treatments, and changes in the health-care delivery system all could affect costs, according to Willis Towers Watson.

Despite the uncertainty, however, the organization has evaluated a set of potential future care utilization scenarios contemplating a variety of patterns of infection and care return in a new white paper titled, “The Up and Down Impact of the Pandemic on Health-Care Costs.” Across all scenarios, 2021 costs to employer plans are expected to be slightly higher than the non-pandemic baseline projection.

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