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11 Worst States for COVID-19's Impact on Hospitals

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One problem COVID-19 could cause for life and health insurers is disruption of hospital care for people with other conditions.

The third wave of the virus that causes the disease could kill many people directly. The third wave could also kill other people indirectly, by scaring people with serious symptoms away from hospital emergency rooms; by chasing health care providers away from hospitals, or by making providers sick; and by filling up all of the hospital beds, or by using up other hospital supplies, space or equipment.

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The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services tracks one hospital capacity indicator — the percentage of inpatient hospital beds occupied by people believed to have COVID-19 — by getting hospital bed occupancy estimates from state representatives.

An increase mortality rate resulting from deterioration in hospital services could increase life insurance claims, make health insurance claims more severe, and have a mixed effect on annuities and long-term care insurance benefits.

Increased mortality could reduce annuity income payouts but trigger annuity death benefit provisions.

The big group annuities used in pension risk transfer arrangements could do better, because of a lack of death benefit provisions.

Problems with hospital services could shorten the duration of active claims but increase the incidence of new claims.

For the 50 states and the District of Columbia, the percentage of inpatient hospital beds occupied by people with COVID-19 during the week ending Nov. 23 ranged from 2.06%, in Vermont, up to 23.65%, with a median of 13.16%.

The percentage of all U.S. inpatient beds filled by patients with COVID-19 has increased to 13.78% as of Nov. 28, from 7.2% Oct. 29.

To see the 11 states with the highest percentage of inpatient hospital beds occupied by people with COVID-19, see the slideshow above. (Wiggle your pointer on the first slide to make the control arrows show up.)

— Read White House Task Force Sees COVID-19 Death Rate Climbingon ThinkAdvisor.

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