Let's start with trends in fully-insured health plans offered to employers, the traditional bread-and-butter of mainline health-insurance providers like WellPoint and UnitedHealth Group. Because insurers are able to capitalize on the upside risk of these plans, they're generally much more profitable than these companies' other major products -- administrating self-funded health plans that are actually insured by employers themselves. First, let's look at the trends in fully-insured membership (all figures in this post refer to membership as of Sept. 30 and its change since the previous year):
Fully-Insured Commercial Health-Plan Membership Trends
|UnitedHealth Group||10.5 million||-3.5%|
By contrast, let's take a look at the self-funded segment on the next page.
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|UnitedHealth Group||16.0 million||+8.7%|
Finally, we'll take a quick look at the Medicare business, in which health plans take federal subsidies ranging from 13-17 percent to offer a privatized form of Medicare for enrollees.
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Medicare Health-Plan Membership Trends
|UnitedHealth Group||1.5 million||-8%|
- UnitedHealth Is Still Bleeding Its Most Profitable Members
- Coventry Health Suddenly Looks Like a Target -- If Anyone Is Buying
- Humana Presses Its (Medicare) Advantage
- WellPoint Holds the Line-- For Now
- Cigna's Healthcare Business Melting Down, Out of Sight
- Can Aetna Buck the Health-Insurance Headwinds?