Insurers Under Pressure to Improve Margins on Health Plans

Insurers Under Pressure to Improve Margins on Health Plans

Results on Affordable Care Act worsened for many last year, after losses in 2014

 

After most health insurers racked up financial losses on Affordable Care Act plans in 2014, many companies’ results for last year worsened, creating heavy pressure to improve performance this year.

An analysis of filings by not-for-profit Blue Cross and Blue Shield insurers—among the biggest players in the law’s exchanges for buying individual insurance—shows the challenge facing the industry as it seeks a turnaround in the individual business. They paid out more for health care in the first three quarters of 2015 than they took in from premiums on their individual plans.

On Wednesday, Humana Inc. became the latest of the big publicly traded companies to flag problems, saying its losses on individual plans deepened last year. Humana included in its 2015 results $176 million in losses it expects to incur on such plans in 2016.

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