What Elevance Health learned about long COVID-19 from claims data

People with long COVID-19 are at higher-risk for a number of adverse cardiovascular and pulmonary events, a study from Elevance Health found. 

Researchers with Elevance's Indianapolis-based Institute for Public Policy published a study March 3 in JAMA Health Forum comparing commercial insurance claims for people diagnosed with long COVID-19 for a year after diagnoses to individuals never diagnosed with the virus. 

The researchers compared insurance claims for 13,435 individuals with long COVID-19 and 26,870 individuals who had never been diagnosed with COVID-19 among 14 different commercial insurance plans. 

The claims showed those with long COVID-19 had a higher risk of mortality compared to their counterparts who had never had COVID-19.  

Individuals with long COVID-19 were 2.35 times more likely to experience cardiac arrhythmias, 2.17 times more likely to experience ischemic stroke and 3.64 times more likely to experience pulmonary embolism than those without a history of COVID-19. 

Jennifer Kowalski, vice president of the Elevance Health Public Policy Institute, said in a news release that the study's findings point to a need for better care management programs for long COVID-19. 

"From a policy perspective, these results can inform understanding of future healthcare utilization, labor force participation and analysis of public program spending and outcomes," Ms. Kowalski said. 

Read the full study here. 

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