Too much market share by insurers in urban areas can inhibit competition, and according to the American Medical Association, there is too little competition among insurers in too many urban markets today.

According to a new AMA study,

  • 69 percent of 389 metropolitan statistical area-level markets are “highly concentrated”
  • in 89 percent of MSAs, at least one insurer issues at least 30 percent of commercial health insurance policies
  • in 43 percent of urban MSAs, a single insurer owns at least 50 percent of the market

In a statement accompanying release of the report, an AMA spokesperson explained that

After years of largely unchallenged consolidation in the health insurance industry, a few recent attempts to consolidate have received closer scrutiny in the past…Previous versions of the AMA study played a key role in efforts to block the proposed mega-mergers by helping federal and state antitrust regulators identify markets where those mergers would cause anti-competitive harm.

See a Healthcare Finance News report on the AMA study here and go here for a link to the AMA study itself, titled Competition in Health Insurance: A Comprehensive Study of U.S. Markets, 2017 Update.