Insurers participating in Obamacare 'very worried,' industry consultant says

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With the Department of Health and Human Services announcing that plans that were supposed to be cancelled this year can now be renewed for another two years, "the health insurance plans participating in Obamacare are a very worried group right now," according to health insurance industry consultant Robert Laszewski.

Because he's in close touch with insurance industry executives, Laszewski became a widely-cited figure during the botched rollout of President Obama's health care law, and now he says insurers who agreed to take part in the law are coming up against a key concern: "The fundamental problem here is that the administration is just not signing up enough people to make anyone confident this program is sustainable."

Though the department has reported that 4 million have signed up for health care plans through one of the program's new insurance exchanges, that number drops to 3 million when individuals who haven't kept up with paying premiums are included (about 20 percent never paid the first month's premiums, and an additional 2 to 5 percent haven't paid the second month's premium, Laszewski writes, citing insurance carriers).

That isn't enough to create a sustainable risk pool with a critical mass of young and healthy enrollees to offset the cost of covering older and sicker individuals who are now guaranteed an offer of coverage.