Health insurance companies

Health care profits explode

Illustration of a red cross and a pill bottle in a pile of money.
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The health care industry continued to rake in record-level profits in the second quarter, with its year-over-year earnings increasing by 23%, according to an Axios analysis of 160 companies.

The bottom line: Pharmaceutical firms and hospitals, in particular, are reaping some of the largest rewards even amid the sustained public furor over drug prices and surprise medical bills.

Return of ACA insurer tax will bring in $15.5 billion

A monthly statement showing premiums for Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield.
Insurers pass on the ACA tax in premiums. Photo: Helen H. Richardson/The Denver Post via Getty Images

Health insurance companies will have to pay $15.5 billion next year if the Affordable Care Act's tax on insurers resumes as planned, the IRS said in a notice on Tuesday.

The big picture: Insurers hate the tax because it eats into profits, and companies pass along the costs to consumers through higher premiums. The industry has a few months left to persuade lawmakers to delay or kill the tax.