U.S. health insurers did great in the first half of the year, according to analysts at Mark Farrah Associates.
Premium revenue increased more than claims for all four categories of health insurance the analysts analyzed: individual major medical insurance, group health insurance, Medicare Advantage plans, and managed Medicaid plans.
Individual major medical coverage — a product that has been in insurers’ doghouse — produced the strongest gains.
For individual major medical insurance, health care expense per member per month increased 7.6%, to $344.
Total individual major medical premium revenue fell 1.6%, to $34 billion, but revenue per member per month increased 17.4%, to $487.
The medical expense ratio, or ratio of benefits costs to premium revenue, fell to 70.8%, from 77.2%.
The analysts suggest that the main problem insurers face, going forward, is that “double-digit increases in premiums are not sustainable.”