It should not be a surprise to anyone that the health care crisis is going to cost a lot of money. Whether that is built into premiums or absorbed by some federal program or subsidies, the costs are ours.
Congress needs to mitigate what could be substantial cost increases for both insurers and their members due to the COVID-19 pandemic, warns Covered California, the Golden State’s Affordable Care Act marketplace.
The one-year projected costs in the commercial market range from $34 billion to $251 billion for testing, treatment and care specifically related to COVID-19, according to Covered California’s policy/actuarial brief, “The Potential National Health Cost Impacts to Consumers, Employers and Insurers in the Commercial Market Due to COVID-19.”
In the absence of federal action, premium increases in the individual and employer markets for 2021 — which are in the process of being set now — could be 40 percent or more solely because of COVID-19 costs.
“Covered California’s analysis shows the impact of COVID-19 will be significant, and that absent federal action, consumers, employers and our entire health care system may be facing unforeseen costs that could exceed $251 billion,” says Covered California executive director Peter V. Lee. “Consumers will feel these costs through higher out-of-pocket expenses and premiums, as well as the potential of employers dropping coverage or shifting more costs to employees.”