Credit rater predicts stable year for ObamaCare markets

Credit rater predicts stable year for ObamaCare markets

The ObamaCare insurance markets will be relatively stable through 2018, analysts predicted Wednesday.

Insurers have adapted to the uncertainty surrounding the Trump administration's handling of the law, A.M. Best, a global credit rating organization, wrote in a briefing released Wednesday. It said insurers should have a stable 2018. 

The analysts had previously predicted a negative outlook for insurers in 2018.


Insurers benefited from high rate increases, limited competition and narrow provider networks in 2016 and 2017, the analysts note, as well as a stabilizing exchange population between sick and healthy customers.

The analysts said while issues could arise if Republicans try to repeal and replace ObamaCare again, they believe Congress will focus on other issues this year. 

"Negative factors continue to impact the industry, but A.M. Best believes that insurers overall have been able to adapt and as a result, does not expect any significant deterioration in market conditions over the next year," the analysts wrote in their briefing. 

Supporters of ObamaCare feared that President TrumpDonald TrumpSix big off-year elections you might be missing Twitter suspends GOP Rep. Banks for misgendering trans health official Meghan McCain to Trump: 'Thanks for the publicity' MORE's decision to cut off key insurer payments would destabilize the markets for 2018, but that ended up not being the case, A.M. Best wrote. 

Many states allowed insurers to adjust their rates to make up for the cancellation of the payments. 

While the tax bill Congress passed last month repeals ObamaCare's individual mandate, that change won't take effect until 2019, and some experts have questioned whether it will have a significant impact on insurance markets.