Health insurance market grows increasingly concentrated, report says: 7 things to know

The American Medical Association published its annual report on the state of health insurance competition Sept. 28. 

The study analyzed 384 metropolitan statistical areas throughout all 50 states and Washington, D.C.

Here are seven things to know:

1. Seventy-three percent of MSAs were highly concentrated markets, as dubbed by federal guidelines. This is up from 71 percent in 2014.

2. Over half (54 percent) of these highly concentrated MSAs grew more concentrated between 2014 and 2020. 

3. Nearly half (46 percent) of MSAs had an insurer that held more than half of the market.

4. Fourteen states had insurers that controlled over half of the insurance market.

5. Alabama, Michigan, Louisiana, South Carolina and Hawaii were the states with the least competitive commercial markets. 

6. Anthem held the most top spots in MSA market shares (80), followed by Health Care Service Corp. (44), UnitedHealth Group (22), Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida (22), Highmark (20) and Kaiser (20). 

7. At the national level, UnitedHealth Group has the most market share (15 percent), followed by Anthem (12 percent), Aetna (11 percent), Cigna (10 percent), Kaiser (7 percent), and Health Care Service Corp. (6 percent). Since 2014, the only change in market share standings has been Kaiser overtaking Health Care Service Corp.

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