Individual Insurance Market Performance in 2019

We analyzed insurer-reported financial data from Health Coverage Portal TM, a market database maintained by Mark Farrah Associates, which includes information from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. The dataset analyzed in this report does not include NAIC plans licensed as life insurance or California HMOs regulated by California’s Department of Managed Health Care; in total, the plans in this dataset represent at least 80% of the individual market. All figures in this issue brief are for the individual health insurance market as a whole, which includes major medical insurance plans and mini-med plans sold both on and off exchange. We excluded some plans that filed negative enrollment, premiums, or claims and corrected for plans that did not file “member months” in the annual statement but did file current year membership.

To calculate the weighted average loss ratio across the individual market, we divided the market-wide sum of total incurred claims by the sum of all unadjusted health premiums earned. Medical loss ratios in this analysis are simple loss ratios and do not adjust for quality improvement expenses, taxes, or risk program payments. Gross margins were calculated by subtracting the sum of total incurred claims from the sum of unadjusted health premiums earned and dividing by the total number of member months (average monthly enrollment) in the individual insurance market. Using earned premiums adjusted for taxes and fees to calculate loss ratios and gross margins increases the MLR by 4 percentage points and decreases the gross margin per member by $31 in 2019. On average across all years, using earned premiums adjusted for taxes and fees increases the MLR by 3 percentage points and decreases the gross margin per member by $16.

Issue Brief

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