FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
10/9/2014
FOR INFORMATION, CONTACT:
John Maszinski
Office: 312-580-6440
E-mail:johnmaszinski@isms.org
Illinois Health Insurance Market Competition Shrinks
New AMA report ranks Illinois in top 10 least-competitive markets

Chicago, IL  - Today the American Medical Association announced that Illinois, for the first time, joins the list of the top 10 states with the least competitive commercial insurance markets.  The just-released report, Competition in Health Insurance: A Comprehensive Study of U.S. Markets , finds that throughout Illinois only one or two commercial insurers dominate regional markets. Two companies control 75 percent of the market for the entire state.

"In many Illinois cities, patients and employers who provide coverage to workers are at a disadvantage due to limited health insurance options," said William A. McDade, MD, PhD, president of the Illinois State Medical Society (ISMS). "When faced with limited competition, insurers have the opportunity to wield too much control, dictating premium expense and other aspects of patient care.

"ISMS is especially concerned about network adequacy. Health insurance companies have an obligation to build sufficient physician networks to ensure care delivery to their customers. We are concerned that many insurers aren't meeting this obligation," added Dr. McDade. "Narrow networks may prohibit patients from seeing preferred physicians or require traveling greater distance when seeking care."

Key Illinois Findings

  • Total market share for the two largest insurers grew from 67 percent to 75 percent over a two-year period;
  • In eight of the 11 largest Illinois metropolitan areas, a single insurer holds a market share of  50 percent or more;
  •  Within Illinois, the least competitive market is Chicago, where a single company holds 68 percent of the insurance market.

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Founded in 1840, ISMS is a professional membership association representing Illinois physicians in all   medical specialties, and their patients, statewide. Dr. McDade is a Chicago anesthesiologist.

 





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