Overall insurer losses may have doubled last year compared to 2014 on individual policies sold via the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act exchanges.

An early review of insurance company data by McKinsey & Co. indicates that total losses and margins worsened considerably in 2015. Insurance companies have complained that "gaming" the exchange system accelerated last year, with many more sick individuals signing up for policies in the extended PPACA enrollment periods. The McKinsey study seems to bear out those allegations.

"Our initial perspective, based on emerging financial results reported for 2015, is that aggregate losses in the individual market may have more than doubled from 2014," McKinsey wrote in its report, "Exchanges three years in: Market variations and factors affecting performance."

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Dan Cook

Dan Cook is a journalist and communications consultant based in Portland, OR. During his journalism career he has been a reporter and editor for a variety of media companies, including American Lawyer Media, BusinessWeek, Newhouse Newspapers, Knight-Ridder, Time Inc., and Reuters. He specializes in health care and insurance related coverage for BenefitsPRO.