Thursday, January 23, 2014

Moody’s Downgrades Health Insurers Over ObamaCare Uncertainty

Moody’s announced today that it was downgrading its outlook for health insurers from stable to negative based on uncertainty related to ObamaCare.

The credit rating agency cited an unstable environment because of the healthcare law’s difficult rollout, and projected that insurers would earn two percent less than forecast in 2014.

“While we’ve had industry risks from regulatory changes on our radar for a while, the ongoing unstable and evolving environment is a key factor for our outlook change,” Moody’s Senior Vice President Stephen Zaharuk said in a statement. “The past few months have seen new regulations and announcements that impose operational changes well after product and pricing decisions were finalized.”

The Moody’s report also cites the slow enrollment of young people into ObamaCare as a reason for the downgrade.

“Uncertainty over the demographics of those enrolling in individual products through the exchanges is a key factor in Moody’s outlook change,” the ratings agency said.

It said the 24 percent of young people enrolled so far is “well short” of the 40 percent target.

Moody’s also said it was worried that insurers’ premium calculations may not be enough to cover the industry assessment tax that begins in 2014.

“These changing dynamics will have an uneven effect on insurers, as the impact of these factors will vary by market segment and geography,” it said. “Moody’s view continues to be that the larger and more diversified insurers will be better positioned, both financially and strategically, to meet the challenges facing the sector.”

Note well: This is only early stage problems with a centrally planned healthcare system---and that's exactly what it is, centrally planned, given that all are compelled to buy insurance and on terms set by the government.

While Moody's is justifiably down grading health insurers, I am downgrading your life expectancy, given that a centrally planned healthcare system will mean poorer quality of care, bottlenecks, shortages and less new research.

Stay healthy, my friends.


  1. Going to have to suggest this is just play acting, making the Insurance Companies that wrote Obamaromneycare seen in jeopardy, as if they didn't write in their own bailout language.

  2. I recall that insurance stocks jumped a lot after Obamacare was signed. Wenzel, can you look into whether this downgrade has pushed them down at all?

  3. Take care of your own health, be your own doctor. Don't rely on someone else to maintain your health.

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