Things are looking up for US
health insurers, believes Moody’s Investor Services, prompting the
rating agency to change its outlook for the industry from negative
to stable.

“Key financial metrics for
the US health care insurance sector have stabilised, with solid
earnings and stable to slightly positive membership growth in the
past two years,” said Stephen Zaharuk, a Moody’s senior
vice-president.

However, he continues that
ongoing political debate and legal challenges still make for an
uncertain environment for health insurers, a risk that many larger
health insurers have strived to offset through active
diversification strategies.

“The larger, more diversified
companies are now well positioned to meet the challenges facing the
sector,” says Zaharuk.

Another positive for the
health insurance industry, adds Zaharuk, is that in 2012 and 2013
there are no major regulations due to be introduced that will
directly affect health care insurers.

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