Insurers are expanding their Affordable Care Act plan offerings for next year, with the once-troubled business now generating profits, even as the overall individual-insurance market has shrunk.
The insurers’ moves reflect the business’ improved finances after sharp rate hikes in previous years helped revenues catch up to claims costs. Premium increases for 2020 so far appear likely to be moderate in many markets, after rates were relatively flat or even down this year, analysts and insurers said. “The market is now clearly stabilizing,” said Mario Schlosser, chief executive of Oscar. Oscar has proposed premium decreases in three states for next year.
Obamacare suffered some big premium increases in 2017 and 2018, but has since calmed down as gross margins improved and insurers started making money. There’s now some scope for reducing premiums or, at the least, seeing them stabilize for a few years.