Obamacare ‘bailout’ for one insurer will cost up to $450 million in 2014

Obamacare ‘bailout’ for one insurer will cost up to $450 million in 2014

[Ed. – What bailout? No bailouts!]

There’s been a lot of discussion about whether the risk adjustment tools embedded in ObamaCare amount to a bailout for the insurance companies, or are a reasonable feature of the law. There’s been far less information about how much money the insurers stand to gain from these measures, to offset their expected losses.

Now we have some hard numbers. Humana announced that it expects to tap the three risk adjustment mechanisms in ObamaCare for between $250 and $450 million in 2014. This amounts to about 25 percent of the insurer’s expected exchange revenue. This money is needed to offset losses that the insurer will take as a result of slower enrollment in its ObamaCare plans, and a skewed risk pool that weighs more heavily toward older and less healthy members than it originally budgeted.

More than half of the money will come from the $25 billion reinsurance pool that ObamaCare provides (collected through a tax on employer-sponsored health plans). The other half will come mostly from the risk corridors. Humana is expected to book the money as revenue to offset shortfalls between what it collects in exchange premiums and pays out in medical claims.

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