Turns out the individual insurance market actually isn’t imploding, even as the Trump administration and Congress keep taking whacks at the Affordable Care Act.
What's new: A Kaiser Family Foundation analysis of individual market performance found that insurers have become profitable again in 2017 and the first half of 2018.
- Insurers' gross margins are getting better. The margins — which measure how much their income from premiums exceeds their costs — are far higher than at any time in the history of the ACA.
- Their second-quarter loss ratios for 2018 averaged 69%, lower than at any point since the earliest years of the ACA.
Between the lines: Premiums went up a lot between 2017 and 2018 (an average of 23% per member for the second quarter of each year).
What to watch: There are signs that the ACA population may be getting sicker — they spent more days in the hospitals than in the past 3 years. If so, that could be a sign that healthier customers are dropping out.