COVID-19 and the ongoing impact to healthcare benefits

The pandemic continues to have a major impact on our nation's economy, including a significant hit to healthcare. While healthcare benefits cost trends are seeing a decline, they won't last forever. Employers must proactively prepare for the drastic shift in short-and long-term healthcare cost impacts brought on by COVID‑19.

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COVID-19 has altered the 2020 healthcare landscape

The U.S. has seen the single biggest source of the GDP decline in Q2 come from healthcare.


annualized decreased in healthcare costs

29% of Americans have avoided care out of fear

Across the country, ER volumes are down about 40% to 50%, says Dr. William Jaquis, president of the American College of Emergency Physicians.

Delayed preventative care leads to more severe diagnoses

Patients who postpone care or preventative screenings are arriving with substantially more serious diagnoses that are harder to treat and more expensive.

Procedure cancellations and delays are only temporary

Procedure cancellations and treatment delays will alleviate healthcare costs for the short-term, but healthcare centers will see an influx in care needs and procedures post-pandemic.

While costs have lowered in 2020, 2021 has a different outlook

Diminished demand for healthcare services due to the pandemic has altered healthcare trend projections entirely. While 2020 may predict reduced healthcare costs, 2021 and beyond will bring entirely different — and concerning — cost trends.

One of the key concerns that practitioners in particular are having is related to the backlog that is piling up and the impacts this will have on medium- and long-term outcomes, in particular for people with chronic conditions. Ellen Nolte, professor of health services and systems research
London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine1

Proactively implementing strategies to address impacts on healthcare cost and access to care to is key to mitigating long-term effects of the pandemic.

Download the full white paper — The ongoing impact of COVID-19 on employer healthcare budgeting — to get detailed insights on:

  • 4 healthcare cost scenarios employers should be concerned about
  • predicted healthcare cost impact model
  • strategies that impact the healthcare cost problem

1) 4 aftershocks of the coronavirus pandemic that will be felt for years,