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Small Business Employee Benefits and HR Blog

Study: Small Business Health Insurance Enrollment Continues to Decline

Small business health insurance enrollment continues to decline. These are the findings from a recent study by Mark Farrah Associates' (MFA's) and Healthcare Business Strategy. According to the study, enrollment in small group fully-insured comprehensive health insurance policies declined 3.2% from 2011 to 2012, while enrollment in large group declined 3.9% between 2011 and 2012. 

group health insurance stats

Key Findings from the Study:

  • While small group enrollment declined 3.2%, the total number of small employer insured groups as reported by health plans declined 9.3%, from 1.70 million small groups in 2011 to 1.55 million small groups in 2012. This is down significantly from the 2.03 million in 2010. 

  • For small employers the average number of enrollees per group increased from 10.3 in 2011 to 11.0 in 2012. 

  • Small business owners paid on average $348.84 per member per month in 2012. Large business owners paid on average $347.29 in premiums per month in 2012. 

  • Premium rates reflect an increase of 2.29% for small groups and 1.45% for large groups between 2011 and 2012.

  • The leading competitors in the small group market are UnitedHealth, WellPoint, Health Care Service Corporation (HCSC), and Aetna. Together these four plans insure 40% of the total small group market and collectively they earned $28.6 billion of the $69.9 billion in total small group adjusted premiums reported for 2012.

To read the full report and for more details on methodology, click here.