Oct 26, 2011

Most US Metropolitan Areas Lack Competitive Health Insurance Market

Posted by: Neal Stehly

The Chicago Tribune (10/26, Cancino) reports, "Four out of five metropolitan areas in the United States lack a competitive health insurance market, according to a study released Tuesday." Investigators "used 2009 enrollment data from health maintenance organizations (HMOs) and preferred provided organizations (PPOs) from 368 metropolitan markets in 48 states." In half of those "states, including Indiana and Michigan, the two largest health insurers had a combined market share of more than 70 percent."

        The AP (10/26) reports that "Alabama had the least competitive health insurance market with two companies controlling 95 percent," while "Oregon has the most competitive market with the top two controlling 39 percent," according to the report.

        The Detroit Free Press (10/26, Anstett) reports, "Michigan has the fourth least-competitive health insurance market in the nation, according to" the report. The report indicates that "Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, which covers 71% of the state's residents with commercial insurance, dominates 13 of 15 metropolitan areas in the state, controlling at least two-thirds of those markets."

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