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Sat Apr 8, 2017, 05:08 PM

Insurers Stem Losses, and May Soon Profit, From Obamacare Plans

Source: MSN/NY Times

In contrast to the dire pronouncements from President Trump and other Republicans, the demise of the individual insurance market seems greatly exaggerated, according to a new financial analysis released Friday.

The analysis, by Standard & Poor’s, looked at the performance of many Blue Cross plans in nearly three dozen states since President Barack Obama’s health care law took effect three years ago. It shows the insurers significantly reduced their losses last year, are likely to break even this year and that most could profit — albeit some in the single-digits — in 2018. The insurers cover more than five million people in the individual market.

After years in which many insurers lost money, then lost even more in 2015, “we are seeing the first signs in 2016 that this market could be manageable for most health insurers,” the Standard & Poor’s analysts said. The “market is not in a ‘death spiral,’ ” they said.

It is the latest evidence that the existing law has not crippled the market where individuals can buy health coverage, although several insurers have pulled out of some markets including two in Iowa just this week. They and other industry specialists have cited the uncertainty surrounding the Congressional debate over the law, and the failed effort two weeks ago by House Republicans to bring a bill to the floor for a vote.

Read more: http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/insurers-stem-losses-and-may-soon-profit-from-obamacare-plans/ar-BBzy9kg

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Reply Insurers Stem Losses, and May Soon Profit, From Obamacare Plans (Original post)
TomCADem Apr 2017 OP
elleng Apr 2017 #1
BumRushDaShow Apr 2017 #2
athena Apr 2017 #5
msongs Apr 2017 #3
TomCADem Apr 2017 #4
Cal Carpenter Apr 2017 #6
cstanleytech Apr 2017 #7
dalton99a Apr 2017 #9
Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin Apr 2017 #8
mdbl Apr 2017 #10


Response to TomCADem (Original post)

Sat Apr 8, 2017, 05:32 PM

2. IMHO

I expect that the "losses" early on were due to those who were the most in need of some type of health insurance but were without it (notably those with "per-existing conditions" and/or inability to afford private insurance), and were thus "sicker". Fast-forward a few years and any whose health improved thanks to finally getting treatment, may no longer be in need of the most expensive care... but as the insurance model goes - they are still "paying into the system" regardless.

I.e., there was a heavy front-loading into the system of those in ill health, but for the long term, that number would be expected to drop.

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Response to BumRushDaShow (Reply #2)

Sat Apr 8, 2017, 06:30 PM

5. Good point. (n/t)

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Response to TomCADem (Original post)

Sat Apr 8, 2017, 05:32 PM

3. the purpose of health INSURANCE is corporate profits. health CARE is irrelevant nt

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Response to msongs (Reply #3)

Sat Apr 8, 2017, 05:55 PM

4. The Trouble With Killing Obamacare's 'Essential Health Benefits'

Which is why Republican efforts to repeal Essential Health Benefits must be resisted.

https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/03/the-trouble-with-killing-obamacares-essential-health-benefits/520680/

The changes sought by the conservative House Freedom Caucus attempt to lower the price of insurance premiums by revoking the ACA’s requirement that insurers cover an array of 10 “essential health benefits”—spanning maternity care, mental health, and drug abuse, to hospitalization and outpatient care.

Critics argue such mandates inflate the cost of insurance by requiring consumers to purchase more insurance than they want: The classic example is an older male forced to purchase coverage that includes maternity care.

The problem is that if coverage of needs such as maternity care or mental health is not included in all policies, the only people likely to buy it a la carte are those who expect to use it. And that will rapidly raise the cost of such coverage—if insurers offer it at all.

“The losers would generally be people who want to buy a comprehensive insurance policy,” said Sabrina Corlette, a research professor at the Center on Health Insurance Reforms at Georgetown University. “Because once you give carriers flexibility to design the benefit package, they will do so to attract healthy people. No chump insurance company is going to be out there offering a comprehensive package, because then they'll be stuck with higher-risk enrollees.”

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Response to msongs (Reply #3)

Sat Apr 8, 2017, 06:31 PM

6. This is true

I will preface by saying that I benefit from Obamacare - my spouse and I were without insurance for several years until the ACA kicked in. We are relatively healthy. The subsidies are significant. It has worked for us so far.

However.... part of the reason the insurance companies are getting closer to profitability is because the premiums are still rising at a crazy rate. Each year, we've had to pick a lower-tier plan to keep our share of the premium affordable. This also means that our deductibles, copays and co-insurance costs have gone up. If we actually had a major medical issue the deductible and out-of-pocket maximums would kick our asses.

The ACA is helping a lot of people, and it is literally saving some lives. But for many people who at least nominally have insurance now, the actual CARE is still unaffordable if they need more than an annual wellness exam.

The insurance companies have to be cut out. In the long run, it is the only way to get genuinely affordable and accessible health CARE.

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Response to TomCADem (Original post)

Sat Apr 8, 2017, 06:47 PM

7. Article failed to mention how one insurer attempted fraud and pulled out of an area

claiming that they were losing money but in fact the real reason they pulled out was as a ploy to get a proposed merger approved.

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Response to cstanleytech (Reply #7)

Sat Apr 8, 2017, 07:43 PM

9. +1

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Response to TomCADem (Original post)

Sat Apr 8, 2017, 07:24 PM

8. Drumpf can't be too happy about that

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Response to TomCADem (Original post)

Sun Apr 9, 2017, 04:27 AM

10. It proves that we still need to get the private insurance industry out of healthcare

every dollar they make in profit is someone being denied needed care.

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