2015 Edition — California Health Insurers

Brink of change

Katherine Wilson, Wilson Analytics


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California Health Insurers: Brink of Change provides a snapshot of the insurance market in California at the end of 2013, just before the major provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) took effect. It also includes some initial figures from 2014 that point to large shifts in both Medi-Cal and individual coverage levels.

Data from the department of Managed Health Care (DMHC), the California Department of Insurance (CDI), and other sources were used to examine market share, enrollment, financial performance, premiums, public coverage, and consumer satisfaction.

Key findings include:

  • Health insurance was a $123 billion business in California in 2013, with six carriers accounting for more than three-fourths of all revenues and most insurers operating in the black.
  • In 2013, enrollment shifts were small, except in the pre-ACA individual market.
  • State and federal policy actions brought significant growth — about 2.8 million enrollees — to Medi-Cal managed care, a 58% increase in the 18 months ending in June 2014.
  • Covered California enrolled 1.4 million individuals in health insurance plans in the first enrollment period ending March 31, 2014. Eleven insurers offered individual coverage through Covered California.
  • Product choice differed by market, with only 20% of individuals enrolled in HMos and 79% of large group enrollees in HMOs in 2013. this could change in 2014 as the ACA is implemented.

The full report, a quick reference guide, and a data file are available for download below. These materials are part of CHCF’s California Health Care Almanac, an online clearinghouse for key data and analyses describing the state’s health care landscape. See our entire collection of current and past editions of California Health Insurers and Enrollment.