Report Finds Kaiser Had Largest Share of Calif. Insurance Market in 2011

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In 2011, Kaiser Permanente had the largest share of California's $59 billion health insurance market for employers and individuals, at 40%, according to a report by Citigroup analyst Carl McDonald, the Los Angeles Times reports.

For the report, McDonald compiled nationwide data on insurance premiums and enrollment among small and large employers and individual policyholders.

California Findings

The report found that Kaiser in 2011 collected $23.3 billion in premiums and served 5.5 million commercial policyholders in California.

Other insurers with large market shares in California were:

  • Anthem Blue Cross, which had a 23% market share;
  • Blue Shield of California, which had a 14% share;
  • Health Net, which had a 9% share; and
  • UnitedHealth Group, which had a 5% share.

National Findings

The report found that WellPoint had the largest share of the U.S. insurance market for employers and individuals, at 14%.

According to the report:

  • UnitedHealth had the second-largest share of the U.S. market, at 12%; and
  • Kaiser had the third-largest share of the U.S. market, at nearly 10%.

Implications

McDonald said that the California health insurance market has a significant effect on the entire U.S. health insurance industry.

He wrote, "As California goes, so goes the results of the publicly traded plans," since the state has "the largest market at four of the six publicly traded plans" (Terhune, Los Angeles Times, 1/29).

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