As you may or may not recall, one of the signature keynotes of Obama-Care was that the, “state exchanges” would open up a pathway for insurance companies all across America to compete with one another. The natural economics of competition would help reduce premiums.
Typically, if you believe the exact opposite of what the government says is going to happen, you’ll be right 99% of the time.
After careful research I think it is fair to say- post Obama Care, there are effectively only six health insurance companies remaining in America. What happened to the competition?
Excluding Medicare and Medicaid, the primary 6 remaining health insurance companies are as follows: Due to the massive size of Blue Cross Blue Shield and United Healthcare, one could make a logical argument that there are only two remaining carriers , but this opinion remains pure conjecture.
THE BIG 6:
1. Blue Cross Blue Shield
2. United healthcare
While there are smaller state specific, or “niche” health insurance companies, for example Av-Med, (In Florida), by and large almost every other health insurance company in America is one flavor or another of the big six. In other words, Av-Med is not competing on healthcare exchanges for the most part another states. Most of the carriers listed below who are not owned by the big six are either small players, specialized markets and or Medicare supplement plans.
Prior to the implementation of The Unaffordable Healthcare Act, the following is a fairly comprehensive list of major health insurance companies operating in the US. As you can see after the Affordable Care Act, competition has dramatically decreased.
I have added in parentheses the actual owner of the following major health insurance players and you’ll get my point very quickly. THERE IS NO MEANINGFUL COMPETITION amongst health insurance companies, post Obama Care. It is also noteworthy to mention that the stock prices of the big five have all nearly tripled since the passage of Obama Care This is corporatism at its finest.
• AARP(owned by United healthcare)
• American Medical security (owned by United health care)
• Amerigroup (owned by wellPoint, which is owned by Blue Cross Blue Shield)
• Anthem(owned by Blue Cross Blue Shield)
• Blue Cross Blue Shield
• Cambia Health Solutions (Blue Cross Blue Shield)
• Coventry Healthcare (United healthcare)
• Emblem Health
• Fortis (Assurant)
• Golden rule insurance company (United healthcare)
• Health Net (United healthcare)
• Health Partners (owned by CIGNA)
• Health Spring (owned by CIGNA)
• Independence (owned by Blue Cross Blue Shield)
• Kaiser Permanente
• John Alden (Assurant)
• Medica (United healthcare)
• MetLife (United healthcare)
• Medical Mutual of Ohio (Blue Cross Blue Shield)
• Molina Healthcare
• Primera (Blue Cross Blue Shield)
• Preferred Care Partners (United healthcare)
• Principal Financial Group
• State Farm
• Travelers (United healthcare)
• United healthcare
• Unicare (Blue Cross Blue Shield)
• Universal American Corporation
• Well Care Health Plans
• Well point (Blue Cross Blue Shield)
*** when I use the phrase, “owned” I mean owned, managed, administered, or a subsidiary.