Kaiser Permanente

Four insurance companies received 96% of enrollments through California’s exchange

Over the last three months, as expected the top four insurance companies received 96% of enrollments through California’s health exchange program. Even though there were seven other companies competing for the health insurance business as well, they only managed 1% of the total new policies.

Four insurance companies received 96% of enrollments through California’s exchange

Anthem Blue Cross of California captured the largest share of business, with 30.7% of enrollments, trailed closely by Blue Shield of California, which captured 29.2% of customers. Kaiser Permanente (19.3%) and Health Net (16.5%) were third and fourth.

Only Chinese Community Health Plan and L.A. Care Health Plan, among the other seven firms selling products through Covered California, captured at least 1% of enrollments.

Enrollments in private plans through the California exchange topped 500,000 by the close of 2013. Among those signing up for coverage, 85% were eligible for subsidies. Roughly 125,000 more individuals signed up for coverage by Jan. 15, suggesting continued strong growth ahead of the close of the open enrollment period March 31. In addition, nearly 600,000 individuals enrolled in California’s Medicaid program by the end of December.

Enrollments by Hispanics continued to lag well behind expectations. Less than 20% of individuals who signed up for coverage by the end of 2013 indicated that they are of Hispanic origin. That’s despite estimates that such individuals comprise nearly half of California’s uninsured population that’s eligible for acquiring coverage through the exchange.

Even though most of the signups were of an age of 35 or older, there is a consensus about that number and that it may not be enough to maintain a level price for all consumers.

Only 25% of individuals signing up for coverage in California were under age 35. That’s roughly equivalent to the trend nationwide. Most experts believe that at least a third of signups will need to be under 35 to establish a balanced risk pool.

Kominski believes that concerns over the age breakdown have been overstated. “There’s been an instant consensus that anything short of roughly 36 percent means that there aren’t enough young people and therefore the premiums are going to skyrocket,” he said. “I don’t share that perspective.” (read more here)

I don’t believe that there is enough evidence as well to state there will be increases across the board for all health insurance plans. There should be more of a lets wait and see rather than a rush to judgement. I think that there won’t be an increase an the amount of people that have already signed up are enough to keep rates the same.


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