Insurers Feel Pinch From New Exchange Enrollees, Other Health Law Factors

In Oregon, insurers note the hardship caused when new Cover Oregon policy holders don't pay their premiums. Also, Massachusetts' top three insurers posted steep first quarter losses they link to the health law's new taxes and fees.  

The Oregonian: Thousands Have Not Paid Premiums For Cover Oregon Health Policies, Placing Coverage At Risk
A large number of people who've signed up for private health insurers through the Cover Oregon health insurance exchange have not paid their first month's premiums, meaning they are at risk of going without coverage through November. "I've already had clients not pay and lose their coverage," says Lisa Lettenmaier, who owns the health insurance brokerage Health Source NW in Tigard. "It's imperative for people to pay their premiums on time." This year, for the first time, most people who don't have health coverage risk a federal tax penalty that runs as much as 1 percent of household income (Budnick, 5/15).

The Boston Globe: Mass. Insurers Link Steep Losses To Health Care Overhaul
Swamped with a total of nearly $133 million in first-time taxes and fees assessed by the Obama administration to finance the federal health care overhaul, the state’s three largest health insurers Thursday posted steep losses for the three months ending March 31. Insurance companies, like drug and medical device makers, were required to help fund the Affordable Care Act through annual taxes that must be booked in the first quarter for accounting purposes. But the insurers said they will try to recoup much of the added cost through the year by boosting premiums for employers and individuals buying insurance (Weisman, 5/15).

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