The U.S. Supreme Court could throw a monkey wrench at health insurers, or insurance company executives could go off the rails, but, otherwise, health insurers should report strong earnings in the coming year.
A team of analysts led by Greg Dickerson has given that assessment in a 2012 outlook commentary released today by Fitch Ratings, Chicago.
Fitch has given the U.S. health insurance and managed care sector a stable rating outlook, and that means the firm expects to affirm the ratings of most of the companies it rates over the next 12 to 24 months, the analysts say.
Fitch rated companies in the sector have an average insurer financial strength grade of A.
The ratings are strong because the health insurance companies have plenty of revenue and net income they can use to pay claims and pay off debt, and they have been doing a good job of increasing their efficiency, the analysts say.
Fitch is assuming that health insurers will make some small and midsize acquisitions in 2012.