Unvaccinated May Pay More for Insurance

As employers look for ways to mitigate exposure to Covid while returning workers to offices, some are considering higher premiums for unvaccinated employees. The higher premiums could cost $20-$50 more per paycheck and could incentivize employees to get vaccinated. Some employers see this as a step to prevent mandatory vaccination. Higher costs for insurance for employees engaged in higher-risk activities such as smoking is not new, and insurers are looking to thwart the costs of Covid hospitalization and long-term Covid treatments by encouraging vaccinations. Read more.

Source: Business Insider

Kauffman Report: Hospitals Profit Margins Tight

Hospitals were showing some signs of economic recovery as the Covid pandemic began to slow and cases declined. However, the rise of the Delta variant is creating concern that profits will be stifled and recovery will be slowed. Expenses due to Delta continue to rise, causing hospitals to lose the ground they started to gain earlier this summer. Overall, while profits are up from 2020 levels, they are still suboptimal compared to 2019 and could slow further as Delta rages. Read more.

Source: Kauffman Hall

Tracking Employee Health Data for Cheaper Costs

Insurance companies are turning to technology to track data about employees, and employees are willing to be tracked for cheaper insurance, according to a report by Breeze, an “insurtech” disability insurance company.
Younger consumers approve of insurtech at a higher rate than those 55 and older. Examples of insurtech include trackers on vehicles for car insurance and could include FitBit or grocery receipt tracking for health insurance consumers. Fifty-five percent of those polled would agree to allow fitness tracking for lower-cost plans. Read more.

Source: Healthcare Innovation Group

Hospital Transparency Rule Challenged

The much-touted hospital transparency rule has come up against some resistance. A group of businesses including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Pharmaceutical Care Management Association, which represents pharmacy benefit managers filed lawsuits against federal agencies including the Department of Health and Human Services.
The business groups assert certain provisions of the hospital transparency rule reach beyond federal authority. Additionally, these groups claim that some of the rule will increase healthcare costs.

Source: This information from this post was sourced from the Wall Street Journal and the entire WSJ article can be found on their website, but a subscription is required.

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