Accordingly to the newest Kaiser Family Foundation report the health insurance market in the individual and small group insurance is very concentrated, which might influence affordable health insurance in Santa Monica and the rest of the country.
In the majority of States one single insurance carrier holds about 45-54% of market share in the state. States in the West such as California, Oregon have more competive markets while more rural states in the Upper West and South are less competitive, with Alabama and Indiana showing a market share of 85% of one single insurer.
On the one hand a dominant insurer who faces little competition may be able to ask for higher health insurance premiums and profits. On the other hand a dominant insurer is in a better position to negotiate lower rates with doctors, hospitals and the pharmaceutical industry , which than can lower the cost of health care and with that be able to offer affordable health insurance .
We would welcome in California more competition in the health insurance market and we will see if the health care exchanges will bring changes. In order to lower health insurance premium we need to be able to control the expanding health care cost in the US and in Santa Monica.