Provider-owned insurers in the individual market.

Academic Article


  • OBJECTIVES: To describe the number and availability of individual market plans sold by provider-owned insurers and compare differences in premiums between traditional and provider-owned insurers. STUDY DESIGN: Cross-sectional analysis. METHODS: Using the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's HIX Compare data, we identified insurers selling Affordable Care Act (ACA)-compliant policies in the individual market and identified those insurers owned by health systems by using information on their websites. We determined the number of insurers selling policies in each market and the size of the population living in areas where provider-owned insurers sold plans in 2016 and 2017. We used least squares regression to compare premiums between traditional and provider-owned insurers within markets, and we adjusted standard errors for clustering at the market and insurer level. RESULTS: There were 149 insurers that sold ACA-compliant plans in 2017, of which 51 were provider owned. Provider-owned insurers operated in 208 of the 503 exchange markets. We estimate that about 62% of US residents (more than 170 million people) live in a market in which a provider-owned insurer sells plans. Premiums did not differ significantly between traditional and provider-owned plans in 2017. CONCLUSIONS: Provider-owned insurers play a prominent role in the individual insurance market. Although health systems that sell insurance have incentives to reduce costs, provider-owned insurers and traditional insurers have similar premiums.
  • Authors

  • Howard, David H
  • Herring, Bradley
  • Graves, John
  • Trish, Erin
  • Publication Date

  • December 1, 2018
  • Published In


  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Humans
  • Insurance
  • Insurance Carriers
  • Insurance, Health
  • Provider-Sponsored Organizations
  • United States
  • Pubmed Id

  • 30586488
  • Start Page

  • e393
  • End Page

  • e398
  • Volume

  • 24
  • Issue

  • 12