Wellpoint, Blue Shield Dominate California Exchange Market
The majority of individual health plans purchased through California's insurance exchange under the Affordable Care Act were offered by Wellpoint or Blue Shield of California, according to a recent analysis by Avalere Health, Forbes reports (Japsen, Forbes, 9/10).
Anthem Blue Cross is Wellpoint's subsidiary in California (California Healthline, 5/10/10). Blue Shield of California is an independent Blue Cross Blue Shield plan.
Details of Analysis
For the analysis, Avalere examined rate filings for 2014 premiums and proposed 2015 premiums in nine states and the final rates in six states. The filings were based on premiums for a 40-year-old, non-smoking individual.
The data also included each plan's share of the market, or the number of lives covered (Avalere release, 9/10).
Overall, the analysis found that Wellpoint and independent Blue Cross Blue Shield plans have either the greatest or second greatest share of the insurance exchange markets in 12 of the 15 analyzed states.
According to Forbes, the findings suggest that the already well-established presence of the plans in these states helped them increase and beat out the other options (Forbes, 9/10).
The analysis found that in California, Wellpoint holds the greatest share of the market, followed by:
- Blue Shield of California, which had the second-greatest market share;
- Health Net;
- Kaiser; and
- Other plans with less than 10% market share (Avalere release, 9/10).
However, Avalere CEO Dan Mendelson said that "new entrants and pricing strategies in this consumer-driven market threaten to shake things up in 2015, particularly for new enrollees" (Forbes, 9/10).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.