Bits of horror about what went on with health insurance underwriting is creeping into some insurers’ 2016 rate filings, but, so far, it looks as if the big carriers got through 2014 intact.
Analysts at Mark Farrah Associates, an insurance industry tracking firm, say the big carriers seem to be reporting solid results.
“Profit margins for the leading companies were generally favorable,” the Mark Farrah analysts say.
Analysts at athenahealth, a company that provides support services for health care providers, say carriers seemed to be doing a good job of processing claims.
“Market pressures in 2014 presented unknown risks to providers and payers,” the athenahealth analysts say. “Top-performing payers, however, were able to navigate those challenges.”
For a closer look at what the analysts are seeing, read on.
1. The big health insurers made money.
Public exchange enrollees might have been sicker than expected in some states, and major medical market rules might have been more unpredictable than hoped, but, in the end, the big carriers earned solid profits in 2014, the Mark Farrah analysts say.
The analysts charted profit margins for Aetna Inc. (NYSE:AET), Anthem Inc. (NYSE:ANTM), Kaiser Permanente and UnitedHealth Group Inc. (NYSE:UNH) for 2009 through 2014 and found that all four are converging at having a profit margin of about 3 .5 percent to 6 percent, and that, as a group, they are doing about as well as they have throughout that five-year period.
2. Most of the big national and regional carriers processed claims about as quickly as they did before 2014.
The athenahealth analysts say carriers did about as well in terms of claim-processing performance indicators such as days in accounts receivable (DAR).