Analysts at Standard & Poor aren't even trying to estimate how much the new Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act risk management programs will help health insurers this year.

S&P analysts talk about the PPACA programs briefly in a review of U.S. health insurer credit quality, saying they don't expect to know how the programs will really work until 2015.

PPACA's reinsurance program is intended to protect individual carriers against the risk of insuring patients with big medical bills.

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Allison Bell

Allison Bell, a senior reporter at ThinkAdvisor and BenefitsPRO, previously was an associate editor at National Underwriter Life & Health. She has a bachelor's degree in economics from Washington University in St. Louis and a master's degree in journalism from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. She can be reached through X at @Think_Allison.