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Megan McArdle

Eight Possible Fates for the Obamacare Exchanges

Further rate hikes aren't sustainable, but the other paths are murky.
Just keep chanting the mantra: "Rates will settle down."
Photographer: MIKE CLARKE/AFP/Getty Images

A lot's been happening in the health-care markets. California announced that premiums would rise by an average of 13.2 percent on its exchanges, after years of being one of the standouts for low premium growth. Meanwhile, Anthem, a large insurer, said it would expand its presence in the Obamacare exchanges -- but only if its merger with Cigna is allowed to go through.

Aetna is only the most recent insurer to struggle to make money on these policies; after expressing optimism in April, the company now expects to take large losses in these markets and is cutting back on its offerings for 2017. The market, says one quoted analyst, is still “very volatile.”