Check this out. What you will see is an interesting discussion of the financial actions that insurers have taken in response to the COVID pandemic. The most visible of these is the waiving of cost sharing payments (copays) in an attempt to make sure that expense does not keep patients from receiving treatment. Additionally, some insurers have been making loans, in many cases substantial ones, to hospitals to keep them afloat during challenging times.
An interesting sidebar here is that many insurance companies have actually had offsetting benefits from patients refraining from getting elective care during the pandemic. As we have previously discussed, how long patient reticence to venture into medical facilities for fear of getting infected remains unclear.
Many companies are extending the length of time that the copay waivers will be granted. We will all recall that when the pandemic initially erupted, lots of us thought it would pass in weeks or at worst, months. The fact that we are dealing with a far more chronic set of circumstances calls into question how long these voluntary waivers will continue to be granted.
Bottom Line. As we have discussed previously, the impact of the pandemic on the economics of physicians and hospitals has been significant. To that impact, we can now add the effect that COVID has had on insurance companies. Put that all together and we realize the truly pervasive impact on our healthcare system’s finances overall. What will the long-term effects of this be?