Buckeyes Bolt HMOs

January 8, 2003 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - Benefits managers fleeing to other health benefit options and HMOs dropping their Medicare plans have led to a drop in Ohio HMO enrollment during 2001 and the first half of 2002.

That was among the findings of an annual report on the Ohio health care market, Ohio Managed Care Review 2002, by an industry analyst.

After years of steady growth in the 1990s, HMO enrollment dropped by 6% in 2001 and has already dropped another 5.3% in the first half of 2002. Most of the decrease – 396,000 net members – came in commercial plans, as employers facing large premium increases found other options or may have dropped insurance altogether. Also, the number of seniors enrolled in HMO Medicare plans decreased by 27,000 as some of the remaining HMOs exited that business or dropped key service areas.

The report also found that:

  • HMOs increased their average premium revenues by 17.7% in 2001. In 2001, HMOs collected an average of $70.39 in premium revenue per commercial member per month. That is an increase from $144.73 in 2000, and the second year of double-digit price hikes.
  • In 2001, Ohio HMOs had net income of $26.9 million, or less than 1% of revenues of $4.8 billion. In the first half of 2002, they had net income of $40.8 million, or 1.7%.

Study author Allan Baumgarten is a Minnesota-based independent analyst of health care markets. Report excerpts can be viewed in the State Reports section of  this Web site .