Nationwide HMO enrollment declined last year mainly because of industry consolidation and Aetna's continuing loss of size, according to InterStudy Publications, St. Paul, Minn. Total HMO enrollment fell 4% to 76.1 million in January 2002 from 79.1 million in January 2001, and the number of full-service HMOs operating dropped to 500 from 541 during the same period, the study found. The enrollment loss was particularly influenced by Aetna, Hartford, Conn., which shed 2.2 million HMO enrollees during the period, researchers concluded. Aetna, once the nation's largest health insurer, has been intentionally cutting its membership rolls as part of a massive restructuring. -- by Laura B. Benko
Report: Fewer HMOs, less enrollment in 2002
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