Large health insurance companies dominated the commercial and Medicare Advantage markets in 2021, with consolidation shrinking competition and inflating premiums, the American Medical Association reports in a study published Tuesday.
Three-quarters of metropolitan areas lacked a competitive commercial health insurance market, 2% less than the year before, according to the AMA’s annual report on health insurers. In 91% of regions, a single insurer held at least 30% of the commercial markets, the medical society found.
Competition was even weaker in the Medicare Advantage market: Nearly 80% of the 380 metropolitan statistical areas surveyed were “highly concentrated.” That represents an improvement from four years before, when 87% of Medicare Advantage markets were uncompetitive, according to the AMA. A single carrier enrolled more than half of the Medicare Advantage members in 34% of markets last year.