Q2 health insurance enrollment shows dramatic shift to individual coverage

Based on insurers' second quarter enrollment numbers, a dramatic shift is continuing toward consumers increasingly purchasing individual coverage, according to a report from SNL Financial.

Analyzing enrollment figures for the top 10 insurers on and off the health insurance exchanges, SNL Financial found that second quarter data "would seem to paint a clear picture of the effects of the federally mandated health exchanges." In fact, individual plan enrollment increased by 26 percent and 25 percent in the first and second quarters, respectively.

Aetna (NYSE:AET) saw the biggest boost in enrollment with an 88 percent jump in its individual health plans from March to June of this year. Coming in with the smallest membership increase is WellPoint (NYSE:WLP), with a 7 percent growth in the second quarter.

Rounding out the top 10 insurers and their individual enrollment increases are:

  • Humana (NYSE:HUM): 63 percent
  • Blue Shield of California: 41 percent
  • Health Care Services Corp.: 39 percent
  • Highmark: 28 percent
  • Florida Blue: 26 percent
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina: 24 percent 
  • Kaiser Foundation Health Plan: 21 percent

However, some industry experts have wondered whether the new enrollees will actually remain with their current health plan, particularly after Aetna and Cigna reported that enrollment in health insurance exchange plans has fallen over the summer.

In the SNL Financial report, Aetna's chief financial officer, Shawn Guertin, said that the insurer is "seeing less attrition than [we thought]. So, it feels like there is less ... churn going on in the book, which will lead to more volume in that business line."

To learn more:
- here's the SNL Financial report