Health insurance companies could skyrocket premiums

The U.S. health care system is ill-equipped when it comes to a pandemic and citizens will be the ones to suffer.

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A new analysis warns premiums could increase as much as 40 percent or more next year amid the coronavirus pandemic. 

According to Truthout, the research conducted by Covered California, the state insurance marketplace created under the Affordable Care Act, found that “if carriers must recoup 2020 costs, price for the same level of costs next year, and protect their solvency, 2021 premium increases to individuals and employers from COVID-19 alone could range from 4 percent to more than 40 percent.”

“Health plans went into 2020 with no hint of coronavirus on the horizon. No insurer, no state, planned and put money away for something of this significance,” says Peter V. Lee, the executive director of Covered California. 

Lee suggests and supports the idea of a temporary federal program that would cover some of these unforeseen costs alleviating much of the burden from businesses and individuals. 

According to the New York Times, depending on how many people need care, insurers, employers and individuals could face anywhere from $34 billion to $251 billion in additional expenses from the testing and treatment of COVID-19. according to the analysis. At the high end, the virus would add 20 percent or more to current costs of roughly $1.2 trillion a year.

With this information comes the worry of those consumers and employers who will no longer be able to afford coverage if premiums do increase. More than 80 million people in the U.S. are already uninsured or underinsured. Medicare for All advocates now has further confirmation and a greater reason to fight for a universal healthcare system. 

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