Private health insurers selling plans on the public Obamacare exchanges made about $300 per beneficiary in the first quarter of 2017, the most they’ve ever made, according to an analysis by the Kaiser Family Foundation. There are some caveats. Because people are paying off deductibles, first quarter earnings are usually higher. Also, they do not include the cost of administering the plans, which can be substantial.
“Early results from 2017 suggest the individual market is stabilizing and insurers in this market are regaining profitability,” the study states. “Insurer financial results show no sign of a market collapse. First quarter premium and claims data from 2017 support the notion that 2017 premium increases were necessary as a one-time market correction to adjust for a sicker-than-expected risk pool.”
Still, every silver lining has its cloud. The study points out that insurers are concerned about whether the subsidy payments that go to companies serving sicker and older populations will continue. They also worry about the individual mandate, which helps lure younger and healthier people into the exchanges.
Source: Kaiser Family Foundation