ACA Plans Performing Much Better; Premiums Remain Stable

They’re more profitable than they’ve been throughout the Obamacare years, says an issue brief.

The individual market is stable and insurers in the ACA are seeing profits, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation issue brief. Insurers, made skittish by the uncertainty surrounding Obamacare, increased premiums by hefty amounts for 2018, perhaps too hefty. They may have overdone it and now premiums for next year are not expected to increase by that much.

“Low loss ratios and higher margins indicate that some insurers over-corrected in 2018, raising premiums more than was necessary to cover claims and administrative costs and earn a reasonable profit,” the issue brief says. “Even though repeal of the individual mandate penalty and expansion of loosely regulated insurance options will tend to drive premiums up in 2019, increases will be mitigated by this over-correction, and in some cases, premiums will even go down.”

Experts are keeping an eye on what effect the repeal of the individual mandate might have on the ACA plans. They’re worried that that may create an exodus of healthier beneficiaries leaving behind more costly people.

“There are indications that the risk pool has become somewhat sicker in the last couple of years, suggesting healthier enrollees may be dropping out of the market,” the brief said.