Coventry, Humana, WellPoint most popular exchange plans


Coventry, Humana and WellPoint took the top spots for most popular plans among exchange consumers who want affordable health insurance coverage, according to a new analysis from Avalere Health.

Those insurers performed well during open enrollment because they priced plans competitively for each market--they were more than half the price of the second lowest cost silver plan. For example, more than 60 percent of Humana's silver plans were priced at or below the second lowest plans.

"Carriers who hit the mark on pricing are more likely to attract consumers," Avalere Health Vice President Caroline Pearson said Wednesday in the analysis. "While carrier-specific enrollment data is limited, premium positioning looks like a good proxy for future market share."

Avalere analyzed silver plans because that's the policy type 65 percent of the more than 8 million people exchange enrollees chose. Overall, WellPoint's Blues plans offered the most competitively priced silver plans across the exchanges, with 370 low-cost silver options in 27 states.

"Securing enrollment in silver plans is critical for carriers establishing exchange market share," Avalere Health Director Elizabeth Carpenter said. "Looking ahead to 2015, we expect silver plans to remain the most popular given the link between the silver level and federal financial assistance, including tax credits and cost-sharing reductions."

Going forward, insurers should work to better understand how consumers make decisions when buying exchange plans, Blue Cross Blue Shield Association Vice President of State Affairs Kim Holland said at an exchange summit this week, FierceHealthPayer previously reported. She recommended insurers work with policymakers to evolve healthcare reform laws at the state or federal level to make sure consumers have affordability and choice.

To learn more:
- here's the Avalere Health analysis

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