Now that actuaries have more information about how COVID-19 affects health care spending, individual market insurers are more likely to include adjustments in their 2022 rates to account for the pandemic, concludes a new issue brief from the American Academy of Actuaries. However, “those impacts are not expected to be material,” the brief says, perhaps conflicting with the gloomy view of the pandemic’s trajectory that is dominating media reports.

Academy Senior Fellow Cori Uccello explains that while more information is now known about how the pandemic has affected health care spending and utilization since early 2020, “just because COVID may have had a big impact in 2020 and 2021 doesn’t necessarily mean it’s going to have a big impact on 2022.”

Insurers in the individual market therefore may not make major rate adjustments related to the pandemic, she tells AIS Health, a division of MMIT. She cautions, though, that “there’s still a lot of uncertainty about…how the rest of this year is going to be, never mind next year.”

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