Tags: AMA: | Little | Competition | Health | Insurance

AMA: Little Competition In Health Insurance

Tuesday, 25 April 2006 12:00 AM

There's been a severe decline in competition among the nation's health insurance companies that could be hurting consumers, according to a new American Medical Association (AMA) report.

The report analyzed 294 metropolitan health insurance markets and found that 95 percent of them had few competing insurers. In fact, in over half the markets a single insurer controlled at least half the market.

"Patients do not appear to be benefiting from the consolidation of health insurance markets," said AMA board member J. James Rohack, MD. "Health insurers are posting historically high profit margins, yet patient health insurance premiums continue to rise without an expansion of benefits."

Between 1995 and 2005, there were more than 400 mergers involving health insurers and managed care organizations, the report noted.

"Given the troubling trends in health insurance nationwide, federal regulators need to take a hard look at whether patients are being harmed as mergers and takeovers reduce the number of competing health insurers," said Dr. Rohack.

"When it is difficult for a new insurer to enter a market with few dominant health plans, patients can be charged high prices without the threat of competition to keep insurers in check."

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There's been a severe decline in competition among the nation's health insurance companies that could be hurting consumers, according to a new American Medical Association (AMA) report. Thereport analyzed 294 metropolitan health insurance markets and found that 95...
AMA:,Little,Competition,Health,Insurance
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Tuesday, 25 April 2006 12:00 AM
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