That's the message of a new analysis by S&P Global, which acknowledges that the Affordable Care Act marketplaces are "fragile" but undercuts the narrative that they're falling apart. The two key sentences:
- The financial results for Blue Cross Blue Shield plans from 2016, and the enrollment for this year, "show that the ACA individual market is not in a 'death spiral.'"
- "Every time something new (and potentially disruptive) is thrown into the works, it impedes the individual market's path to stability."
That might be a surprise to everyone who's heard of the double-digit rate hikes for most Obamacare plans last year. But the S&P Global analysts said they've always expected a "five-year path to stability," and that "2016 was year 3." It predicted that there will be more rate hikes for next year, but "at a far lower clip."