Elevated Outpatient Care, No Recession: 2023 Has Surprised Analysts

Three quarters into 2023, Moody’s Investors Service says the predictions it made at the start of the year for the health insurance sector — namely, earnings growth in the mid-to-high single digits — have largely proven accurate. However, while financial results were consistent with the credit rating firm’s expectations, analysts said in a new report that the reasons for those results were not exactly what they predicted.

“Our outlook was premised on reduced membership as a result of Medicaid redeterminations and the impact of a possible recession on commercial membership,” the analysts wrote in a report released on Nov. 20. “However, with no recession this year, commercial membership has been better than expected, but its growth has been offset by higher-than-expected MA [Medicare Advantage] utilization.” Additionally, “although Medicaid redeterminations are underway, their impact so far has been relatively small.”

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Leslie Small

Leslie Small

Leslie has been working in journalism since 2009 and reporting on the health care industry since 2014. She has covered the many ups and downs of the Affordable Care Act exchanges, the failed health insurer mega-mergers, and hundreds of other storylines spanning subjects such as Medicaid managed care, Medicare Advantage, employer-sponsored insurance, and prescription drug coverage. As the managing editor of Health Plan Weekly and Radar on Drug Benefits, she writes and edits for both publications while overseeing a small team of reporters who also focus on the managed care sector. Before joining AIS Health, she was a senior editor for the e-newsletter Fierce Health Payer, and she started her career as a copy editor at multiple local newspapers. She graduated with a dual degree in journalism and political science from Penn State University.

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