March 2, 2016

Insurers Having Difficulties Profiting From ACA Exchanges

The AP  (2/26, Murphy) reported that many insurers are losing money in the health insurance exchanges created by the Affordable Care Act, threatening its future. UnitedHealth Group Inc. “may not participate in 2017” and Aetna “has questioned the viability of the exchanges.” That said, “enrollment is growing and appears to getting younger in some markets, a crucial factor for stability.” Meanwhile, insurers are “adjusting their coverage to do better financially” even as they learn more about their new customers. Part of the profitability issue for insurers is that those who first signed up were “people who couldn’t get coverage previously due to a condition.” However, they have also been dealing with “customers who appear to be waiting until they become sick to buy coverage.” While there is supposed to be a limited time for signing up, exchanges have not been asking for documentation when a customer claims to have had a life-changing event that allows an exception.