2 Key Obamacare Trends: What You Need to Know

There's been a lot of Obamacare news and data released since the law's successful 8 million member launch. This transformative law is revolutionizing American health care and dramatically shifting how health care is accessed and received.

All health care investors need to take note, but investors interested in major insurers like WellPoint  (NYSE: ANTM  ) , UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH  ) , and Aetna  (NYSE: AET  )  in particular should be watching very closely to see what comes of the law.

Of course, sifting through all of that data can be incredibly difficult. But two huge trends have become very apparent.

Insurers are expanding their exchange footprints
UnitedHealth Group is the clearest example, with reports indicating that the company will at least double the number of Obamacare exchanges it participates in -- from five to 10 -- although not all of the data is out yet. WellPoint, which played very aggressively in the exchanges, has come out looking good so far for 2014, and it appears that UNH has decided to increase its competition. This is a major plus for consumers, as more competition may lead to cheaper prices and better plans. Speaking of which...

Health plan premiums have not spiraled out of control
In fact, they've been lower than the CBO projected. And in some states and some plans, premiums have even dropped (Healthy CT, a Connecticut-based insurer, is reportedly requesting an average 8.9% drop in its premiums).

In this video, from Market Checkup, the Motley Fool's health care-focused investing show, health care analysts Michael Douglass and David Williamson delve deeper into these trends and the data investors need to watch as we all work to understand the health care shifts that Obamacare is causing.

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  • Report this Comment On June 14, 2014, at 2:11 PM, suny wrote:

    You are incorrect. Company health plans have gone up more than usual and choices have been taken away to keep costs lower. Company plans have not gone up as much as they could have since the Pres has decided not to enforce the law. Individuals and small business owners' plans have skyrocketed in some cases 30 - 50%.... fine if you qualify for a tax payer subsidy but not so fine if you make 40k! This law needs to go. The insurance companies will continue to increase rates while taxpayers subsidize just as colleges increase their rates given school loans are so easy to get. As a licensed health insurance agent and individual policy owner since 1987... this is the true story!!!!!!

  • Report this Comment On June 14, 2014, at 3:19 PM, Jack1967 wrote:

    What about the 30 million uninsured that Obama cited as the reason for the obamacare debacle? Math says they remain uninsured?

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Michael Douglass

As the Motley Fool's Health Care Editor/Analyst, I focus on all things health care -- although my greatest interest is in the megatrends reshaping the American health care system, including the Affordable Care Act, Accountable Care Organizations, a shifting regulatory landscape, and the new drug discoveries fundamentally changing disease management and treatment.

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