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Affordable Care Act insurers are doing just fine

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.

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