Payer execs: 5 ways COVID-19 will affect business

For now, many commercial health insurers are well-positioned to withstand new pressures from the COVID-19 pandemic. But the economic downturn still poses threats and will bring changes to the business, according to a report from the Urban Institute.

To better understand how the pandemic is affecting health insurers, researchers interviewed executives from 25 health plans between April and June 2020. 

Here are five findings from the interviews:

1. To date, most insurers are seeing their employer business remain stable, despite worries an economic downturn would negatively affect the business. However, insurers are still concerned small businesses may start to drop coverage in coming months. 

2. Insurers are seeing increased Medicaid enrollment, but have not seen projected increases in individual market signups to the same degree.

3. Many insurers are worried the COVID-19 pandemic may fuel further consolidation among medical practices.

4. Insurers believe the pandemic will have less of a negative effect on 2021 premiums than they initially thought.

5. Insurers generally believe telehealth benefits will stick around post-pandemic.

Read the full report here.

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