The U.S. government signed up 8.2 million people for health insurance through the HealthCare.gov website, including 2.1 million people from the insurers' most sought-after demographic - those aged under 35, the top health official said on Tuesday.
That compares with the 6.4 million people who signed up or were automatically enrolled at this time last year, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell said during a conference call.
HealthCare.gov sells subsidized individual insurance in 37 states, and Burwell said millions more had gained coverage through the state-based insurance exchanges that serve Washington, D.C. and the remaining 13 states.
The enrollment figures come at a time when expectations for 2016 sign-ups have been tempered. The government has said it expects total enrollment of 10 million people via both HealthCare.gov and the state-based exchanges at the end of 2016, about half of what its 2016 estimate had been earlier this year.
Large health insurers have been lukewarm on the market, saying it is a challenge to make money there.
Health insurer UnitedHealth Group Inc said last month that the low enrollment and high medical costs of those covered through the exchanges were causing the company to lose money. It said it would have to review its participation in the two dozen states where it sells plans next year.
The 8.2 million people signed up or automatically re-enrolled in a plan as of Dec. 19 will have coverage effective Jan. 1. Enrollment remains open through the end of January.
On Friday, the government announced that enrollment was running faster than last year and that 6 million people had signed up through Dec. 17, and shares of insurers rose.
Shares of Aetna Inc, UnitedHealth and Anthem Inc all rose slightly on Tuesday after the government announced the most recent data.
The government said it estimated that more than 9.1 million people were enrolled for health coverage through HealthCare.gov and the state-based exchanges at the end of 2015.
Of the 9.3 million people who were enrolled at the end of September, about 84 percent received subsidies, the government said. The average subsidy was $271 per month. Enrollment fluctuates as people gain or lose employment-base insurance or have a change in status, such as becoming married.
The growth equity arm of buyout firm TPG Capital LP has invested $75 million in life sciences services company Precision for Medicine, according to people familiar with the matter, the latest in a string of TPG investments in the healthcare sector.
The sources asked not to be identified ahead of an announcement of the investment later on Tuesday.
Based in Bethesda, Maryland, Precision for Medicine helps pharmaceutical and life sciences companies develop and commercialize new drugs. The company was founded in 2013 by healthcare executives Ethan Leder and Mark Clein with $150 million in financing led by investment firms Oak Investment Partners, J.H. Whitney and Company, and LCI Capital.
TPG has invested steadily in the healthcare sector since the firm was founded in 1992 by David Bonderman and James Coulter. For example, it bought generic drugmaker Par Pharma for $1.9 billion in 2012 before selling it to pharmaceutical firm Endo International Plc for about $8 billion earlier this year.
TPG Growth manages more than $7 billion, while TPG has $70.2 billion of capital under management in total.
The global healthcare sector has seen a blitz of merger and acquisition activity this year that culminated in Pfizer Inc's $160 billion acquisition of Botox maker Allergan Plc in November, a deal that will create the world's largest drugmaker.
CryoLife, Inc., a leading medical device and tissue processing company focused on cardiac and vascular surgery, announced today that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire On-X Life Technologies Holdings, Inc. ("On-X"), an Austin, Texas-based, privately held mechanical heart valve company.
J. Patrick Mackin, Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer of CryoLife, said, "We believe this will be a transformative acquisition for CryoLife that will significantly enhance the size of our addressable market and growth potential. This transaction will provide CryoLife access to the $220 million mechanical valve market with a highly advanced portfolio of products. On-X valves have been implanted in over 200,000 patients, and On-X has achieved a 13% revenue CAGR over the past four years with modest sales and marketing support. We are very excited about the outlook for continued growth for several reasons. First, the On-X aortic valve is the only mechanical valve to receive FDA labeling requiring an INR (international normalized ratio) level of only 1.5-2.0. This labeling provides the On-X valve with a distinct competitive advantage. Second, with the addition of the On-X sales team to the CryoLife team, our U.S. cardiac surgery sales force will more than double. Third, as the power of On-X's technology and its supporting robust clinical data become more widely known through our expanded sales organization, we believe the acquired portfolio will continue to post double-digit compounded growth from 2016-2020. Finally, we believe we will also see strong synergy between our product portfolios, which will drive cross-selling opportunities across our entire business."
Clyde Baker, President and Chief Executive Officer of On-X, commented, "On-X is extremely excited to join forces with CryoLife and we believe CryoLife is well suited to take the On-X business to the next level. We expect this transaction to enhance the growth trajectory of On-X products through the additional resources provided by a larger, global cardiac surgery company."
On-X generated revenue of approximately $33 million in 2014, representing compound annual growth of approximately 13% over the preceding four years.