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ACA enrollment hits 3.6 million; Validus Holdings launches cat bond

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ACA enrollment hits 3.6 million; Validus Holdings launches cat bond

More than 800,000 people signed up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act using the HealthCare.gov platform in the fifth week of 2018 open enrollment, according to enrollment data released by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Through the first five weeks of the open enrollment period, 3,604,440 people have signed up for insurance coverage under the ACA.

Lawmakers in Maryland are weighing state replacements for the ACA's individual mandate, WYPR reported. A state commission is considering various options to stabilize the state's insurance market and to help mitigate the impact that would follow if the Congress repeals the mandate. Among other options, the group is considering replacing the federal individual mandate in state law; offering incentives to insurers; and implementing the Basic Health Program that allows states to offer subsidized insurance to people just above the poverty level.

American International Group Inc. is the lead reinsurer on the losses caused by a fire at Oman-based aluminium producer Sohar Aluminium in August, The Insurance Insider reported. Sohar Aluminium is expected to be paid between $250 million and $350 million for the massive claim, according to the report.

Validus Holdings Ltd. is sponsoring a $325 million catastrophe bond, Tailwind Re Ltd. series 2017-1, Artemis reported. Tailwind Re Ltd., a newly formed Bermuda special purpose insurer, will offer three tranches of series 2017-1 notes to cat bond investors, and proceeds from this sale will be used to fully collateralize underlying reinsurance agreements with Validus companies.

Early renewal transactions indicate that reinsurance rates could rise as much as 10% at the Jan. 1, 2018, renewals, says Morgan Stanley, Business Insurance reported.

Fitch Ratings revised its fundamental sector outlook for U.S. life insurers to stable from negative, expecting the industry's better-than-expected operating performance and "a benign" credit environment will continue into 2018.

Favorable development of loss and loss-adjustment-expense reserves for prior accident years among U.S. property and casualty insurers all but evaporated during the third quarter, an S&P Global Market Intelligence analysis finds.

Catastrophe modeling firm AIR Worldwide said it now estimates insured losses from Hurricane Maria to be between $27 billion and $48 billion in the Caribbean.

Elsewhere, the total insured losses from the October wildfires in California have topped $9.4 billion, with the North Bay fires alone accounting for $9 billion, according to the California Department of Insurance.

In deal updates, UnitedHealth Group Inc. unit OptumCare's bid for DaVita Inc.'s DaVita Medical Group would build out Optum's medical care business, further widening the reach of an already massive healthcare conglomerate, according to analysts.

Kentucky National Insurance Group LLC will acquire 100% of Mountain Life Insurance Co.'s common stock, effective Jan. 1, 2018.

As Patriot National Inc. prepares to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, company founder and former Chairman and CEO Steven Mariano continues to battle claims brought by Fifth Third Bank regarding an alleged default on a mortgage for a 57-meter "superyacht." Mariano and several other defendants denied in a federal court filing that they are in default under the terms of the $32.3 million mortgage on the "Lady Sara" and a $12 million revolving line of credit. The Lady Sara is listed for sale for $36 million and the defendants said they intend to use proceeds from the sale to satisfy the mortgage.

The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation set a 6.6% statewide average rate increase for Citizens Property Insurance Corp.'s homeowners' multiperil insurance for 2018, slightly lower than the 6.7% the state-run insurer requested.

U.S. healthcare spending grew 4.3% in 2016, a slowdown from the two previous years as insurance enrollment and retail prescription drug costs plateaued, according to an analysis from the Office of the Actuary at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

Featured news

Roche's Tecentriq, Hemlibra win trials; Novartis, AbbVie drugs get NICE nods: Roche Holding AG's lung cancer drug Tecentriq showed improved survival for lung cancer patients that had not already received previous treatments. The phase 3 trial, in which the drug was tested in combination with Avastin and chemotherapy, showed that previously untreated patients with advanced non-squamous non-small cell lung cancer who received the combination had a 38% reduced risk of their disease worsening or death.

Financial news in other parts of the world

Asia-Pacific: Ping An becomes 2nd biggest HSBC shareholder; India keeps rates steady

Europe: Ping An ups stake in HSBC; US tax plan could hit Swiss banks

Middle East & Africa: Bahrain banks launch fintech firm; Ghana asks banks to submit bad-loan plans

Latin America: Said family seeks funding for BBVA Chile deal; Brazil cuts Selic rate

The day ahead

Early morning futures indicators pointed to a mixed opening for the U.S. market.

In Asia, the Hang Seng rose 0.28% to 28,303.19, and the Nikkei 225 was up 1.45% to 22,498.03.

In Europe, as of midday, the FTSE 100 climbed 0.12% to 7,356.88, and the Euronext 100 rose 0.04% to 1,040.58.

On the macro front

The jobless claims report, the EIA natural gas report, the Fed balance sheet and the money supply report are due out today.