Small Group Health Insurance Enrollment Continues to Decline According to Mark Farrah Associates
KENNEBUNK, Maine--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Enrollment in small and large businesses fully-insured comprehensive health insurance policies declined 3.2% and 3.9%, respectively, between 2011 and 2012, according to a new Healthcare Business Strategy report released by Mark Farrah Associates (MFA). In 2012, more than 17.7 million people received comprehensive health insurance through fully-insured small group policies, compared to nearly 40.1 million people who received similar coverage through fully-insured large group policies.
A somewhat disconcerting find was the total number of small employer insured groups, as reported by health plans, also declined from 1.70 million small groups in 2011 to 1.55 million small groups in 2012. This is down significantly from the 2.03 million in 2010. According to Debra Donahue, Vice President MFA, "Reasons for the decline in group enrollment may be the economy, reporting changes, shifts to administrative services only arrangements by both large and small groups, or attrition due to lack of new options being developed as health plans await the advent of health insurance exchanges."
It does not appear premium increases are influencing the decline. MFA's analysis of information from the Supplemental Health Care Exhibit (SHCE), that insurance carriers file annually with the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), found that health insurance premium rates on a per person per month basis increased 2.29% for small groups and 1.45% for large groups between 2011 and 2012. The differential between small group and large group rates also continued to be minimal.
Four carriers insure 40% of the total small group market: UnitedHealth, WellPoint, Aetna and Health Care Service Corporation (HCSC). Detailed information on small group health plans, the Supplemental Health Care Exhibit and other data filed with the NAIC is available in Mark Farrah Associates' Health Coverage Portal™. To read the full report "Small Group Health Insurance Enrollment Decline Continues", please visit the Analysis Briefs library on Mark Farrah Associates' website www.markfarrah.com.
About Mark Farrah Associates (MFA)
MFA is a leading data aggregator and publisher providing health plan market data and analysis tools for the healthcare industry. Committed to simplifying analysis of health insurance business, our products include Medicare Business Online™, Medicare Benefits Analyzer™ Health Coverage Portal™, County Health Coverage™, Health Insurer Insights™, and Health Plans USA™.
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