Are Integrated Plan Providers Associated with Lower Premiums on the Health Insurance Marketplaces?

In Medical Care Research and Review, Ambar La Forgia and colleagues compare the premiums of the lowest priced 'silver' plans of integrated plan providers with other insurer types in the 2015 and 2016 health insurance marketplaces. As the health insurance industry becomes more consolidated, hospitals and health systems have started to enter the insurance business, and insurers are also rapidly acquiring providers. This is the first study to analyze health insurance marketplace premiums by insurer type, with a specific focus on the premium setting behavior of integrated plan providers. The authors find that integrated plan providers are associated with modestly lower premiums relative to most other insurer types. Examining integrated plan providers as a separate insurer type has important policy implications - they are a growing segment of the marketplaces and their pricing behavior may influence future premium trends.