2014 was a good year for health insurers. Profits were up. Enrollment was up 16 million thanks to the healthcare marketplaces and Medicaid expansion in states that outsource to private MCOs to run their programs. Medicare Advantage plans remained popular among seniors and profitable for sponsors, and the number of plan options on health exchanges increased 25% from their first year.
As we enter 2015, prospects for continued enrollment gains and solid financial performance are good. There were no major glitches in healthcare.gov in November, red states such as Tennessee announced plans to expand their Medicaid programs using vouchers enrollees can use to buy private coverage and employers that provide coverage say they’ll continue.
But not so fast! While prospects are good, there are issues in 2015 that could dramatically disrupt the industry’s recent smooth ride.