High-tech therapies such as gene, cell, and orphan drug therapies are becoming more popular, and that these therapies can be very costly.

Self-insured employers are seeing an increase in high-cost health claims in the area of respiratory illness and mental health, a new report has found. The 2021 Accident and Health Market Report, released by stop-loss insurer QBE compared high-dollar claims from the months preceding the COVID-19 pandemic to costs from the early months of 2021. It found that while the top area of high-dollar claims, cancer treatment, moderated somewhat, other high-cost claims in the areas of respiratory illness and mental health saw significant increases.

“The claims frequency nearly doubled for respiratory illnesses, and it more than doubled for mental illnesses,” said Tara Krauss, Head of Accident & Health at QBE North America. “It demonstrates the broad impact of the pandemic and explains why we have seen employers seek more holistic solutions that connect mental and physical health.”

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