4 Out Of 5 Metropolitan Areas Lack Competitive Health Insurance Markets

If you’ve been thinking that your options for health insurance coverage have been dwindling in recent years, you’re probably correct. A new report from the American Medical Association found that 83% of metropolitan areas in the United States lack a competitive commercial health insurance market.

The AMA study looked at commercial health insurance market shares and federal concentration measures for 368 metropolitan markets and 48 states and found the following:
*A significant absence of health insurer competition exists in 83 percent of metropolitan markets studied by the AMA.

*In about half of metropolitan markets, at least one health insurer had a commercial market share of 50 percent or more.

*In 24 of the 48 states, the two largest health insurers had a combined commercial market share of 70 percent or more.

“New data presented by the AMA demonstrates the degree of anti-competitive market clout that some health insurers have gained through mergers and acquisitions,” said AMA President Peter W. Carmel, M.D.

According to the AMA, these are the nine states — and one District of Columbia — with the least competitive health insurance markets:
1. Alabama
2. Alaska
3. Delaware
4. Michigan
5. Hawaii
6. District of Columbia
7. Nebraska
8. North Carolina
9. Indiana
10. Maine