WASHINGTON (AP) - New government figures indicate that health insurers will lose about $2.5 billion because patients covered through President Barack Obama's health law last year were sicker than expected.

WASHINGTON (AP) New government figures indicate that health insurers will lose about $2.5 billion because patients covered through President Barack Obama's health law last year were sicker than expected.

Late Thursday, the Department of Health and Human Services released updated numbers for a program that helps stabilize premiums in the health care law's insurance markets.

Insurers whose medical claims costs were lower than expected pay in money to help insurers whose costs were higher.

For 2014, insurers that had sicker-than-expected patients requested nearly $2.9 billion in payments. But the government has collected only $362 million from insurers that did well.

That means insurers who requested payments will get less than 13 percent of what they sought.

The situation may ultimately improve, but experts say it's too early to tell.