Individual Health Insurance Market Stabilizing, Not Collapsing: Kaiser

July 12, 2017

Insurer financial data through the first quarter of 2017 suggest the individual health insurance market has been stabilizing and insurers in this market are regaining profitability, finds a new analysis from the Kaiser Family Foundation.

“Insurer financial results show no sign of a market collapse,” the study says.

The analysis tracks insurer financial performance, starting before the launch of Affordable Care Act marketplaces, through two indicators: medical loss ratios (the share of health premiums paid out as claims) and average gross margin per member per month (the average amount by which premium income exceeds claims costs per enrollee in a given month).

Large premium increases, typically granted by state regulators, in 2017 contributed to the improved financial performance, as insurers adjusted for a sicker-than-expected risk pool, the analysis finds. However, data on hospitalizations suggest that the risk pool was not getting progressively sicker as of 2017, supporting the notion that the large increases were necessary as a one-time market correction.

Slow growth in claims for medical expenses also played a role in insurers’ financial improvements, according to the analysis.

Although the analysis finds the market is stabilizing, it notes that ongoing uncertainty over payment of cost-sharing subsidies to insurers and enforcement of the individual mandate could lead insurers to leave the market or charge higher premiums in 2018.

Source: Kaiser Family Foundation, Individual Insurance Market Performance in Early 2017

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  • July 13, 2017 at 1:57 am
    Doug Fisher says:
    What kind of horrible coverage did you have before in which your premiums are double what they used to be, while you are also on the worst possible ACA deductible plan? I don'... read more
  • July 12, 2017 at 8:15 pm
    Natasha and Bearis says:
    Oops! Run-on sentence in last post. Bear culpa.
  • July 12, 2017 at 8:13 pm
    Natasha and Bearis says:
    Yes, Big Govt should get out of the way and allow the insurance experts fix the MESS LEFT BEHIND BY DEMOCRAT SOCIALISTS who devised ACA to fail and lead to calls for SINGLE PA... read more

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