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Health Insurers Say Virus Could Cause Premiums To Climb

Health insurers and employers say premiums could increase dramatically.
Posted at 3:07 PM, Apr 14, 2020

Some health insurance companies and employers say workers could find themselves paying larger health insurance premiums next year, unless Congress can find a way to financially assist with COVID-19 claims. 

According to The Hill, companies are asking Congress to fund a program in a coronavirus bill that would help insurers and companies that run their own health plans. The aim is to assist with the cost of virus testing and treatment claims being filed. The goal is to protect employer-sponsored coverage.

The Hill reports that one analysis estimates that insurers and employers could end up being on the hook for $34 billion to $51 billion for COVID-19-related health costs. In addition, the analysis says that the outbreak could potentially result in premiums for private plans increasing by as much as 40 percent next year. At greatest risk are the six-in-ten workers who work for companies that cover employees' health costs instead of buying private insurance for them.

Experts say passing legislation could be a lengthy process and that costs could potentially climb even higher should a second wave of the virus hit the country.