The global pandemic has had a major impact on health claims. In 2020, the Milliman Medical Index (MMI) indicated a decrease in year-over-year health care costs for the first time in history. The decrease in 2020 health care costs can be attributed to individuals who postponed their medical treatments during the peak pandemic years of 2019 and 2020. Their delays, however, exacerbated their medical conditions, resulting in higher costs over the past two years. MMI reported that health care costs for 2021 had increased by 13.2% and it projects costs to grow an additional 4.6% from 2021 to 2022.

For health care plan sponsors and their benefit advisors, consultants and brokers, understanding the current market for medical stop loss insurance is essential.  Best’s Market Segment Report, “More Self-Insured Plans Drive Stop-Loss Segment Growth“, reports that the stop loss insurance segment grew to $25.2 billion in 2020. This report also noted that the number of claims covered by stop loss insurers has grown in tandem with the increasing number of high-cost medical treatments. Greater knowledge and insights into this coverage intended to help contain plan sponsors’ health care costs is critical to making the right medical stop loss decisions.

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