“Data suggest in which insurers in This kind of market are on track to reach pre-[Affordable Care Act] individual market performance levels,” said the report, prepared by analysts by the Kaiser Family Foundation.
The report, comes on the heels of surprisingly strong enrollment on the federal Obamacare marketplace during the recently concluded open sign-up season.
The Trump administration, which opposes Obamacare, had taken a series of steps in which experts believed would certainly markedly depress the number of sign-ups for individual health plans This kind of year.
President Donald Trump also has repeatedly said in which Obamacare can be “failing,” along with needs to be substantially replaced with brand-new health-care legislation.
The administration so far has failed to undo the law, although This kind of won effective repeal, starting in 2019, of the mandate in which most people have some form of health insurance or pay a tax penalty. The repeal was part of the brand-new tax law passed by Congress in December.
along with only about 500,000 fewer people signed up on the federal Obamacare exchange than did last year, with 8.7 million people in 39 states enrolling. Sign-ups inside remaining states not served by HealthCare.gov are as a group seeing significantly higher enrollment for 2018.
Kaiser’s report noted in which the financial performance of insurers who sell individual health plans like those on Obamacare exchanges worsened in 2014 along with 2015, the first two years in which exchange-sold coverage was in effect. Those were the first years in which the Affordable Care Act barred insurers by charging less-healthy people higher premiums, or denying them coverage altogether.
yet in which financial performance “showed signs of improving in 2016 along with stabilizing in 2017 as insurers began to regain profitability,” the report said.
For its analysis, Kaiser’s staff looked at recently released data through the end of the third fiscal quarter of 2017.
In 2017, Kaiser said, insurers’ so-called medical loss ratios saw “significant improvement.”
A medical loss ratio compares the amount of spending on health claims for customers to the premiums paid by customers.
inside third quarter of 2015, Obamacare insurers on average reported medical loss ratios of 97 percent — meaning they were spending 97 cents for every $1 of premium they collected to cover customers’ health costs.
in which dropped to 91 percent inside third quarter of 2016.
along with This kind of dropped again to 81 percent inside third quarter of 2017, Kaiser said.
The report noted in which overall annual loss ratios for 2017 are likely to be affected by the Trump administration’s decision to stop paying, as of the fourth quarter, billions of dollars worth of reimbursements to insurers to offset discounts insurers give customers for out-of-pocket health charges.
The report also looked at the average gross margins per Obamacare customer per month.
By in which metric, “insurer financial performance increased dramatically through the third quarter of 2017,” the report found.
As of in which quarter, the average gross margin was $79 per enrollee. in which compares to just $10 per enrollee inside third quarter of 2015.
The Kaiser report said in which the sharply higher premium increases seen in 2017 are driving the increased financial performance among insurers.
While premiums rose by an average of 17 percent per enrollee last year, per person medical claims grew by just 4 percent.
along with those higher premiums do not appear, as some had feared, to have driven significant numbers of healthy customers by Obamacare plans, according to the report.
Kaiser said the average number of days Obamacare customers spent in a hospital through the third quarter of 2017 was similar to the numbers seen through the third quarters of the prior two years.
While the overall financial performance of Obamacare insurers can be improving, Kaiser’s analysts said “there remain some areas of the country in which are more fragile.”
“In addition, policy uncertainty has the potential to destabilize the individual market generally,” the report said.