Dear DHP Subscriber,
We are happy to announce 2017 medical enrollment data is now available on your DHP Dashboard, in both the online search tool and the main workbook—Enrollment Data Spreadsheets. We’ll be posting the rest of the In-App Downloads over the next couple of days. Please visit at your earliest convenience. If you are new to DHP, you can use your regular AIS Health website credentials to log in the DHP Dashboard.
Researchers observed many changes during compilation of AIS’s Directory of Health Plans: 2017, our 14th edition of this annual database, which tracks U.S. health insurance enrollment by company, state and sector. We’d like to alert you to several trends and developments since last year’s edition.
The public sector continues to flourish overall. Medicaid HMO enrollment grew almost 7%, while Medicare Advantage plans gained almost a million more members from this time last year, and enrollment in dual-eligible plans grew by a whopping 16% from 2016, gaining 376,000 new members.
By comparison, the number of people covered under group policies all decreased slightly, with small-group plans seeing the largest reduction (5.5%). Large group plans shrunk by a mere 1%, while ASO/self-funded group membership remained flat.
The biggest increases came in commercial risk-based individual (non-group) enrollment, which jumped 11% and more than 1.8 million people. This occurred despite several large insurers’ drastically reducing their public exchange presence in 2017, which resulted in a slight drop (1%) in reported public exchange enrollment. The records of Aetna, Humana and UnitedHealthcare reflect their collective reduced participation, while other insurers scooped up those companies’ discarded exchange members.
The 2017 edition includes 491 health plan records, compared to last year’s 514. This reduction resulted from many factors, including:
• Several insurers ceased operations. Many of these companies were small Medicare only plans, and several more Consumer Operated and Oriented Plans (CO-OPs) shut their doors since last year.
• Mergers and acquisitions. Numerous mergers resulted in our combining listings for several MCOs. Notable examples include the Blue Shield of California/Care1st Health Plan’s combining their listing for the first time since the 2015 merger and UnitedHealthcare’s acquisition of Rocky Mountain Health Plans.
• Deleted records due to enrollment overlap. To reduce double-counting in the database, we scrutinized several records and found situations where enrollment from insurers that only had administrative services only (ASO)/self-insured enrollment overlapped with the ASO of larger insurers.
Interestingly, the database does not have an Appendix section this year for health plan start-ups without enrollment yet. Those who did not get off the ground and turn into regular records have given up, and uncertainty in the industry is discouraging newcomers.
Please be sure to check out our Frequently Asked Questions for more insight into how the enrollment fields add up, how the counted medical lives compare with population, and info on how to apply the full capability of database to your projects.
Throughout the year, we will be sending out letters updating any changes we’ve made and highlighting other areas of year-over-year change as we analyze the data. Be sure to keep an eye out on our Newsfeed, too, as we will be covering stories that may affect next year’s data and beyond.
We thank you for purchasing this year’s Directory and look forward to hearing your feedback.