A new report on the health insurance markets in Missouri recently was released by the Missouri Department of Insurance, Financial Institutions and Professional Registration (DIFP).
The report, which focuses on major medical coverage, makes use of diverse data sources to provide an overview of Missouri’s health insurance market.
In addition to data possessed by the DIFP, additional sources include the Current Population Survey (CPS), the American Community Survey (ACS), National Health Expenditure Data from the Bureau of the Census, and other key indicators available from the U.S. government.
Some of the highlights from the report include:
The rate of uninsured individuals remained statistically unchanged between 2016 and 2017.
In 2017, an estimated 8.4 percent of Missourians lacked health coverage for the entire year, the lowest point over the last several decades. The previous low was in 1999, when the uninsured rate was 8.6 percent.
It also is estimated that 9.1 percent of the population lacked health insurance on any given day in 2017.
Approximately one-third of Missourians obtained coverage from a third-party insurance company (i.e. entities regulated by DIFP), and an additional third obtained coverage from self-funded employer health programs, which are regulated under the federal Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA).
The remainder of the population are insured under government programs, primarily Medicaid, Medicare and insurance from the armed forces.
Health insurance can be obtained either in the individual market, small employer or large employer market, each governed under separate statutes.
The DIFP estimates that the annual cost of coverage per insured in the individual market in Missouri increased by 236 percent between 2011 and 2017 — rising from $2,099 to $7,051.
Increases over the same time period were more modest in the small employer market (56 percent) and the large employer market (5.9 percent).
Since 1991, per capita health care spending increased at an annual average rate of 5.2 percent, or about 2.9 percentage points more rapidly than the overall rate of inflation.
In real (inflation-adjusted 2014) dollars, the overage annual medical costs per person rose from $4,194 in 1991 to $8,107 in 2014 (the most recent data year available).
The market for major medical coverage is far less competitive than other lines of insurance. In 2017, the market share of the largest four insurers was approximately 90 percent across all three markets — individual (89.4 percent), small employer (89.5 percent) and large employer (93.6 percent).
In 2017, Missourians spent a little over $15.5 billion dollars on all forms of health insurance. Beyond major medical policies, other types of coverage include Medicare Supplement, Long-Term Care, stand-alone vision or dental coverage, and a variety of products offering more limited benefits.