Vermont’s health insurers made “excess profits” in 2020 as a result of the pandemic, as non-essential medical and surgical procedures were postponed, but may lose money this year as patients return to hospitals, according to a report from the Department of Financial Regulation.
The report focused on the financial performance of BlueCross BlueShield of Vermont, MVP Health Group, the Vermont Education Health Initiative and Cigna throughout the pandemic.
“The pandemic caused severe disruption to our daily lives, including preventing Vermonters from seeking non-essential medical care at times, even though they continued to pay their health insurance premiums,” DFR Commissioner Michael Pieciak said in a news release.
Pieciak said it was important to make sure Vermonters didn’t “overpay” for health insurance during the pandemic. He said the DFR determined in most cases they did not, but where they did, they will receive “premium relief.”
Money back to policyholders
Cigna has already returned about $118,000 to its eligible large group policyholders, and Pieciak said his department will require BlueCross BlueShield Vermont to incorporate about $2.1 million in “consumer relief” in its upcoming 2022 Medicare Supplement filing.
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The DFR plans to review other 2022 Medicare Supplement filings and Vermont Education Health Initiative’s upcoming rate filing to determine if any additional COVID-19 related rate relief is warranted.
The pandemic also had “favorable financial impacts” on other insurance providers, according to the DFR report, which warranted premium relief.
DFR previously approved $24 million in premium relief for Vermont auto insurance policyholders because of significant reductions in driving during the pandemic, as well as $3.2 million for dental insurance policyholders because of pandemic restrictions on routine dental care.
Contact Dan D’Ambrosio at 660-1841 or email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @DanDambrosioVT. This coverage is only possible with support from our readers.