Coronavirus wrap-upLife/Health(4/8/2020)

A.M. Best Holds Stable Outlook on U.S. Health Industry Amid COVID-19 Pandemic Crisis

rating agency A.M. Best said it is maintaining its stable market segment
outlook on the U.S. health insurance industry, despite the impact of the
COVID-19 virus outbreak. It cited:

  • A trend of strong earnings;
  • Strengthened risk-adjusted capitalization;
  • Lower-than-estimated utilization and medical cost trends; and
  • The cancellation or postponement of visits for routine care and
    elective procedures.

U.S. life insurers’ growing commercial mortgage portfolios may face
virus pressure

U.S. life insurers continued in
2019 to increase their holdings of commercial mortgage loans, an asset class that
industry participants say faces unique challenges during the coronavirus
pandemic, S&P Global reports. The long-term nature of
commercial mortgages makes them a good asset match for the long-duration
liabilities life insurers carry. However, commercial mortgage loans could be
under stress as the pandemic-sparked economic slowdown continues.

Calls for Medicaid expansion renewed as COVID-19
outbreak strains health care system

More than 50 Texas health policy
and industry groups are urging Gov. Greg Abbott to expand the state’s Medicaid
program to cover more than 1 million people as a way to slow the spread of the
coronavirus and the illness it causes, COVID-19.

Coronavirus Reset: How to Get Health Insurance

Millions of people have lost jobs
— and often the health coverage that came with those jobs. More still have had
their work hours reduced or have received drastic pay cuts, so monthly premiums
that may have been manageable before are now out of reach.

Estimated Cost of Treating the Uninsured
Hospitalized with COVID-19

A great deal of uncertainty
surrounds how the COVID-19 epidemic will evolve, including how many people will
become infected and how many will become severely ill and require
hospitalization. The Kaiser Family Foundation provides a range of cost
estimates for the Trump administration’s proposal to reimburse hospitals for
COVID-19 treatments for uninsured patients, based on results from recent
studies and models.