5 Worst States for New COVID-19 Cases

Link: https://www.thinkadvisor.com/2021/03/30/5-worst-states-for-new-covid-19-cases/

Excerpt:

The fourth U.S. wave of COVID-19 cases has started.

It’s not yet clear whether the wave will be a big one, or a little swell tamped down by masks, vaccines and successful social distancing efforts. But the total number of new cases in the United States increased to 422,980 in the seven-day period ending March 27, up 11% from the total for the week ending March 20.

The number of cases per 100,000 residents increased to 127. That was up from 115 per 100,000 U.S. residents a week earlier, and up from a recent low of 113 per 100,000 U.S. residents two weeks earlier.

Author(s): Allison Bell

Publication Date: 30 March 2021

Publication Site: Think Advisor

First COVID-19 Wave Hit Preferred Insureds Hard: Work Group

Link: https://www.thinkadvisor.com/2021/03/12/first-covid-19-wave-hit-preferred-insureds-hard-work-group/

Excerpt:

The team found that deaths attributed to COVID-19 accounted for 5.1% of the individual life insurance death claims participating insurers received in the first half of 2020.

About 2% of all of claims for all causes were for people younger than 45. That was about the same percentage as in 2019.

About 1% of the COVID-19-related claims submitted in the first half of 2020 were for people under 45.

The overall increase in the odds of dying from any cause was highest for insureds in their 70s.

Author(s): Allison Bell

Publication Date: 12 March 2021

Publication Site: Think Advisor

Group Wants Life Underwriters to Post COVID-19 Standards

Link: https://www.thinkadvisor.com/2021/03/01/group-wants-life-underwriters-to-post-covid-19-standards/

Excerpt:

The Consumer Federation of America says life insurers should voluntarily disclose the changes they are making in life insurance underwriting procedures and standards as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Washington-based federation says life insurers ought to at least answer basic questions, such as whether they will require applicants to use COVID-19 vaccines, what kinds of tests and test results they’ll require and whether and how standards might vary by applicant age.

Author(s): Allison Bell

Publication Date: 1 March 2021

Publication Site: Think Advisor

Grim COVID-19 Scenario Could Cut Pension Liabilities

Link: https://www.thinkadvisor.com/2021/03/09/grim-covid-19-scenario-could-slash-pension-liabilities/

Excerpt:

The pandemic could also slash pension plan sponsors’ liabilities, by making ordinary health care an expensive luxury — and driving up the U.S. death rate for decades to come.

Analysts at Club Vita US LLC have presented those scenarios in a look at the possible effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on three types of U.S. pension plans: defined benefit plans sponsored by single employers; defined benefit plans sponsored by multiple private-sector employers; and defined benefit plans sponsored by government employers.

The analysts’ work reflects the same kinds of effects that might affect blocks of life insurance policies, blocks of annuities, and life settlement portfolios.

Author(s): Allison Bell

Publication Date: 9 March 2021

Publication Site: Think Advisor

Forecasters Predict COVID-19 Case Counts Will Keep Falling

Link: https://www.thinkadvisor.com/2021/03/04/forecasters-predict-covid-19-case-counts-will-keep-falling/

Excerpt:

Forecasters are predicting that U.S. COVID-19 case counts and the U.S. COVID-19 death numbers will continue to improve over the next four weeks.

Most of the forecasters in the COVID-19 Forecast Hub system say weekly new case counts will be somewhere between 350,000 and 450,000 over the next four weeks, compared with an actual number of about 477,000 recorded during the week that ended March 1.

The forecasters are predicting the number of deaths per week will fall to about 6,000 to 8,000, from about 14,000 per week, over that same four-week period.

Author(s): Allison Bell

Publication Date: 4 March 2021

Publication Site: Think Advisor

Third Wave of COVID-19 Continues to Ease

Link: https://www.thinkadvisor.com/2021/02/17/third-wave-of-covid-19-continues-to-ease/

Excerpt:

The seven-day moving average number of daily cases is about 100,000.

The seven-day moving average number of daily deaths has been over 2,000 for 10 weeks.

As of Feb. 11, about 35 million U.S. residents had received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose.

Author(s): Allison Bell

Publication Date: 17 February 2021

Publication Site: Think Advisor

U.S. Death Counts Have Climbed for All Adult Age Groups: Actuary

Link: https://www.thinkadvisor.com/2021/02/25/u-s-death-counts-have-climbed-for-all-adult-age-groups-actuary/

Excerpt:

The actual number of deaths for people of all ages has been 18.4% higher than the expected number.

For women, the worst actual-to-expected death ratio is for the 35-44 age group.

For men, the highest percentage of excess deaths was was for the 35-54 age group.

Author(s): Allison Bell

Publication Date: 25 February 2021

Publication Site: Think Advisor

MetLife Sees a Baby Bust

Link: https://www.thinkadvisor.com/2021/02/08/metlife-sees-a-baby-bust/?kw=MetLife%20Sees%20a%20Baby%20Bust

Graphic:

Excerpt:

Analysts at the Brookings Institution have predicted, based on consumer surveys and demographic data for the period following the 1918 influenza pandemic, that the number of U.S. births could fall by about 300,000 to 500,000 this year, because of health concerns and the effects of the pandemic on the economy.

MetLife has an indication that the Brookings analysts are correct: Enrollees in the group short-term disability plans MetLife runs for employers are filing fewer pregnancy-related STD claims.

MetLife sells employers group STD coverage, and it also administers group STD plans for employers that choose to self-insure.

STD claims for pregnancy-related leave fell 20% between the fourth quarter of 2019 and the fourth quarter of 2020, according to Phil Bruen, a senior vice president for group life and disability product management at MetLife.

Author(s): Allison Bell

Publication Date: 8 February 2021

Publication Site: Think Advisor

COVID-19 Numbers Continue to Look Better

Link: https://www.thinkadvisor.com/2021/02/04/covid-19-numbers-continue-to-look-better/

Graphic:

Excerpt:

The top federal COVID-19 tracking team says key pandemic intensity indicators improved last week.

The U.S. death rate increased slightly, but the number of new cases fell, and the percentage of people tested who actually had the virus that causes COVID-19 also fell, according to the White House COVID-19 Team Data Strategy and Execution Workgroup.

Author(s): Allison Bell

Publication Date: 4 February 2021

Publication Site: Think Advisor

National COVID-19 Numbers Improve

Link: https://www.thinkadvisor.com/2021/01/28/national-covid-19-numbers-improve/

Excerpt:

President Joe Biden’s administration is reorganizing federal pandemic management efforts. The tracking team has left out its usual list of observations and recommendations.

In place of the weekly notes, the team has included a statement indicating that, “The weekly State Profile Reports are currently under review. The format and content may change in coming reports.”

The weekly reports have distilled current knowledge about COVID-19 trends that could shape benefits costs for every life and health product, including annuities, and efforts to ease pandemic-related social distancing rules.

One question is whether the new COVID-19 vaccination program will have any early effect on the pandemic intensity level.

Graph:

Author(s): Allison Bell

Publication Date: 28 January 2021

Publication Site: Think Advisor