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California’s 3 Largest Health Insurers among Few to Show Obamacare Profit in 2014

Aimee Sharp
Author | Shield HealthCare
12/14/15  9:23 AM PST

By Chad Terhune for The Los Angeles Times

California’s biggest health insurers are among a select few to show a profit selling Obamacare policies.

In the first year of the massive coverage expansion, California’s three largest health insurers bucked the national trend of heavy losses and accounted for half of the gains reported under the Affordable Care Act in 2014.

Blue Shield of California led the country with $107 million in profit on Obamacare policies sold to individuals. Kaiser Permanente was second with $66 million, and Anthem Blue Cross ranked seventh nationally with a $9-million surplus in the Covered California exchange.

Nationwide, insurers reported just $362 million in total profit under a federal rate-stabilization program, while most insurers recorded big losses — a total of $2.87 billion.

Critics have seized on the industry losses as a sign that the health law is failing. Those concerns were amplified when the nation’s largest insurer, UnitedHealth, warned that it may quit selling Obamacare policies because the business was so unprofitable.

Now some experts point to California’s experience as a sign that this can be an attractive business for insurers — so much so that it has raised questions about whether state officials should have pushed harder for lower rates.

Read the Full Article on The Los Angeles Times.

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