Covered Calif. More Competitive Than 2012 Individual Market
The Covered California marketplace is more competitive than the 2012 individual insurance market in California, according to an analysis by the Kaiser Family Foundation, KQED's "State of Health" reports.
For the report, Kaiser examined exchange enrollment data from seven states.
Details of Findings
The study found that compared with the individual market in 2012, more insurers participating in Covered California control at least 5% of the market share.
In addition, the largest company's market share in the Covered California market is lower than it was in the individual market in 2012.
For example, Anthem Blue Cross:
- Held 47% of market share in the individual market in 2012; and
- Now holds 30% of market share in the Covered California market as of Jan. 31.
Meanwhile, the report found that:
- Kaiser Permanente's market share fell from 20% in the 2012 individual market to 18% in Covered California;
- Blue Shield of California's market share increased from 19% in the 2012 individual market to 29% in the exchange; and
- Health Net's market share increased from 3% in the 2012 individual market to 18% in the exchange.
KFF analyst Cynthia Cox said, "California had a highly concentrated market before the" Affordable Care Act, adding, "It will probably be at least two to three years before we're really able to know how much the ACA is changing insurance market competition."
Cox said that insurers in coming years will determine whether lower premiums are financially sustainable or if rates need to be raised.
Anthem spokesperson Darrel Ng in an email said, "Market share has changed substantially as more have enrolled via Covered California, and it's reasonable to expect that this will continue as open enrollment concludes."
However, he noted that it is "premature to draw any conclusions" from the analysis because:
- The study did not examine recent non-exchange enrollment data or information about grandfathered plans; and
- Open enrollment in the exchange has not ended (Aliferis, "State of Health," KQED, 3/17).