Health Insurance Market Share Research: Smaller = Better Deals


August 12, 2015 | Published in Harvard Journal of Technology Science

Larger issuers raise premiums higher than smaller ones, but their costs aren't higher. Our Harvard published research shows health insurance market share by state.

Research Highlights

  1. Under Obamacare, the largest insurers in each state raised premiums 75% more than smaller insurers from 2014 to 2015, even though their costs have not risen much more than others.

  2. The largest insurers differ by state and include Blue Cross Blue Shield, Anthem, and Humana. On average, the big guys raised rates from 2014 to 2015 by nearly 24 percent, while the lesser known, smaller insurers raised rates less than 14 percent.

  3. The study results raise questions as to whether larger insurers facilitate anti-competitive practices that require the public to pay more.
  4. As a consumer, it may be worthwhile to seek out plans from lesser known, smaller insurers instead of the big brands.

Market Shares of Issuers

This paper studies insurers pricing behavior in 34 states with federally facilitated or state partnership health insurance marketplace. These states are shaded in blue.

The largest insurer in each state is simply defined as the insurer with the largest market share on the health insurance marketplace. Click on a state below to view a break down of market share.

Note: Data is based on 2014, 2015 Unified Rate Review data and 2015 Qualified Health Plan Market Overview. For more information about our research methodology, please refer to Harvard Journal of Technology Science.