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Obamacare Exchanges Are Strengthening, Not in a “Death Spiral”

This is reality – the individual health insurance markets are generally in good shape, though in smaller states and counties, there is a serious problem of choice. Some markets are no longer served, and others have only one option. This is not good, but it could be solved in Washington was working on it, and not working to make the situation much worse.

If you read the article, you may see that insurer profits are up, and that the amount of claims paid are down. First of all, yes, we are a profit-making industry. Not enormous profits, mind you, but yes, profits. Nearly EVERYONE else in the healthcare industrial complex is a for-profit entity. Do you think your doctor works for free? Secondly, we are obligated to pay out an average of 80% of premiums on medical claims (85% for large groups), so quarter-by-quarter variations are meaningless.

Finally, don’t blame the health insurance industry when 2018 rates come out, because they will be going up for almost everyone. Here’s why:

“An analysis by the Oliver Wyman consulting firm estimated that up to two-thirds of insurer rate increases for 2018 “will be due to the uncertainty surrounding these two market influences” and the Congressional Budget Office estimates premiums will increase 20 percent next year if the individual mandate is not enforced.”