In 2020, Insurers Profited Across Multiple Markets With Chart: Health Insurers Remain Profitable Amid Pandemic

Last year payers were profitable across multiple business lines, according to a May 3 report from the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF). The report, which was based on data submitted to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners and compiled by Mark Farrah Associates, examines medical loss ratios (MLRs) and gross margins in the Medicare Advantage, Medicaid managed care, individual and fully insured group (employer) health insurance markets (see infographic, p. 8).

The report found that “health insurers in most markets became more profitable during the pandemic,” with the caveat that “we can’t measure profits directly without administrative cost data.” In particular, the report found that MLRs were lower in 2020 for Medicaid managed care organizations (MCOs) than they were in 2019 and 2018. Also, the brief cited an earlier KFF report that anticipated individual and group market commercial insurers will pay out at least $2.1 billion in MLR rebates for the years 2018 to 2020.

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Peter Johnson

Peter Johnson

Peter has worked as a journalist since 2011 and has covered health care since 2020. At AIS Health, Peter covers trends in finance, business and policy that affect the health insurance and pharma sectors. For Health Plan Weekly, he covers all aspects of the U.S. health insurance sector, including employer-sponsored insurance, Medicaid managed care, Medicare Advantage and the Affordable Care Act individual marketplaces. In Radar on Drug Benefits, Peter covers the operations of (and conflicts between) pharmacy benefit managers and pharmaceutical manufacturers, with a particular focus on pricing dynamics and market access. Before joining AIS Health, Peter covered transportation, public safety and local government for various outlets in Seattle, his hometown and current place of residence. He graduated with a B.A. from Colby College.

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