Individual Coverage Outpaces Small Business Insurance in California
In 2014, more Californians were enrolled in health coverage through the individual market than through small employers, according to a report by the California HealthCare Foundation, the Sacramento Business Journal reports. CHCF publishes California Healthline.
For the report, CHCF used enrollment data that had been publicly reported by the California Department of Insurance and California Department of Managed Health Care, as required under a 2012 law.
According to the report, enrollment in California's small business market in 2014 dropped by 11% to 2.1 million enrollees. Meanwhile, enrollment in the individual market increased by 47% to 2.18 million during the same period.
While there is no historical data for comparison, the numbers appear to mark the first time that the state's individual market has outpaced small business enrollment, according to the Business Journal.
The sharp uptick in the individual market largely was driven by Covered California and the availability of subsidies to help pay for premiums for plans purchased through the exchange.
The data show that the 47% increase in the individual market represented about 700,000 additional enrollees last year -- about half of whom purchased coverage through the state exchange, while the other half purchased coverage directly from insurers.
Meanwhile, the 11% decrease in small business enrollment represented a drop of more than 257,000 enrollees (Robertson, Sacramento Business Journal, 5/21).
DMHC Has Most Enrollment in Commercial Sectors
The CHCF report also found that DMHC now has the most enrollment in all three commercial insurance sectors, surpassing DOI in terms of regulating California's individual health insurance market, the Sacramento Business Journal reports. According to the Business Journal, California is the only state to split insurance between two regulators.
According to the report, DMHC now regulates:
- 91% of the large group market;
- 82% of the individual market; and
- 77% of the small group market.
The numbers do not include Medi-Cal, the state's Medicaid program.
Meanwhile, DOI outpaces DMHC in regulating employer-sponsored coverage, with 5.35 million and 1 million enrollees, respectively (Robertson, Sacramento Business Journal, 5/22).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.