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Although an increased focus on co-morbidities could result in beneficial early intervention in some cases, it also could lead to additional complex care, leading to pressure on health insurers to help contain costs. (Photo: Shutterstock)

The coronavirus pandemic has changed the way consumers interact with health care, which will have a significant impact on the health insurance industry, according to a report from Moody’s Investors Service.

“The ability or inability of our rated health insurers to adapt to these changes in the next three to five years will be an important driver of credit strength,” the report said. “Health insurers that successfully adapt will boost their credit strength through lower medical cost trends than their peers. We expect the costs of a vaccine, which we believe is unlikely to be widely available until mid-2021, would be borne by health insurers, but those costs would be offset by lower coronavirus treatment costs and hospitalizations. Therefore a vaccine would not likely have a significant effect on health insurers’ earnings.”

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