Study: ObamaCare market 'stabilizing,' not collapsing

Study: ObamaCare market 'stabilizing,' not collapsing
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A new analysis of health insurers’ financial data finds that ObamaCare markets are “stabilizing” and insurers are regaining profitability.

The study from the Kaiser Family Foundation contrasts with Republican arguments that ObamaCare markets are in a “death spiral” and “collapsing.”

“Early results from 2017 suggest the individual market is stabilizing and insurers in this market are regaining profitability,” the study finds. “Insurer financial results show no sign of a market collapse.”

Insurers’ financial results have improved since the initial couple of years of the healthcare law, the analysis finds.

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For example, it found that insurers in the first quarter of this year paid out 75 percent of their premiums in claims. That's a significant improvement from the first quarter of 2015, when 88 percent of premiums were paid out for claims.

Average claims costs also grew slowly in the first part of this year, pushing back on fears that healthy people would drop coverage.

“It does not appear that the enrollees today are noticeably sicker” than they were last year, the Kaiser report finds.

There are still some headwinds for ObamaCare markets, including a few areas of the country that could have no insurers offering coverage next year.

Insurers have often blamed uncertainty from the Trump administration, for example on whether it will make key payments known as cost-sharing reductions, on the need to drop out or raise premiums.