Press Release - DECEMBER 11, 2019
Best’s Market Segment Report: U.S. Health Insurance Market Outlook Maintained at Stable
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
OLDWICK - DECEMBER 11, 2019
A new Best’s Market Segment Report, “Market Segment Outlook: U.S. Health,” states that factors underlying the growth in earnings in addition to the lower utilization trend include fewer new high cost prescription drugs coming to market, which has helped to stabilize escalating prescription drug costs, and favorable claims experience in the individual Affordable Care Act (ACA) exchange market product. The stronger capitalization levels also have been aided by the rate of increase in capital and surplus, which has outpaced growth in net premiums written in the past few years.
Key factors that could negatively affect health insurers in the coming year include an increase in medical claims above pricing assumptions and disruption from regulatory actions. Large-scale legislation that would impact the ACA in 2020 is unlikely; however, the uncertain outcome of an appeal of a federal district court ruling in Texas regarding the ACA’s validity and efforts by the Trump administration and in GOP-run states to support non-ACA compliant health plans, could place pressure. Furthermore, the return of the health insurer fee in 2020 may compress margins.
The report outlines other factors driving the stable market segment outlook, including:
This report also looks at the disability income (DI) and supplemental health markets, where macroeconomic factors continue to be major drivers of production and underwriting results, particularly in the DI segment. Sustained economic growth and good employment numbers, combined with rising interest rates, is expected to continue to provide stability in the disability income segment. Similar to that experienced in the employee benefits space, the supplemental and voluntary benefits markets also have seen considerable interest by new entrants and a high level of competition. Sales growth has fluctuated widely, but expansion in the supplemental health space experienced the last few years has continued in 2019, led by dental and DI sales, but other product lines such as limited benefit, short-term medical, critical illness and senior-focused products also have seen favorable growth.
To access a full copy of the market segment report, please visit http://www3.ambest.com/bestweek/purchase.asp?record_code=292339 .
To view a video with Ken Frino, managing director, about the U.S. health industry outlook, please visit http://www.ambest.com/v.asp?v=outlookhealth1219 .
AM Best is a global credit rating agency, news publisher and data provider specializing in the insurance industry. The company does business in more than 100 countries. Headquartered in Oldwick, NJ, AM Best has offices in cities around the world, including London, Amsterdam, Dubai, Hong Kong, Singapore and Mexico City.