The COVID-19 pandemic could cut dental insurance claims sharply this year, and a little bit for two years after that.
Joanne Fontana and Thomas Murawski, actuaries at Milliman, make that prediction in a new analysis of the pandemic impact.
Their base scenario shows that COVID-19 could lead to a 34% reduction in dental claims this year, a 7% reduction next year, and a 5% reduction in the year after that.
- A copy of the Milliman actuaries’ analysis of the effects of COVID-19 on dental care use is available here.
- An article about how COVID-19 could cut health insurance claims, for some insurers in some areas, is available here.
The actuaries acknowledge that concrete information about the impact of the pandemic is scarce, and that they created the analysis mainly to illustrate a framework for analyzing the effects of the pandemic on dental services use by people with commercial dental insurance.
The actuaries did not include the cost of orthodontic services, and they did not look a government-run programs that provide dental benefits, such as Medicaid.
They note that the “shelter in place” rules implemented to keep severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19 from spreading, appear to be causing a big, immediate effect on use of dental services.