Health Insurers Report Rising Premium

by Mark Friedman  on Monday, Sep. 1, 2014 12:00 am  

Arkansas Blue Cross Blue Shield remains No. 1 on the list with an increase of 6.5 percent in premium for 2013. [pHOTO BY Michael Pirnique]

2013 was another good year for nearly all of the companies on Arkansas Business’ list of the largest health insurance companies that write premium in the state.

Eight of the 10 carriers on the list, which is ranked by premium written in Arkansas, saw their premium rise last year over 2012 numbers.

All the companies on the list remained in the exact same position as they did last year. The list, though, might see a slight shake-up next year as three of the companies on the list have recently changed owners.

Still, the No. 1 company on the list was Arkansas Blue Cross & Blue Shield. It wrote Arkansas premium of $1.3 billion in 2013, up 6.5 percent from the previous year, based on information filed with the Arkansas Insurance Department.

United HealthCare of Arkansas remained a distant second with $638.4 million in premium written in the state in 2013, an increase of 4.9 percent.

Only two companies on the list saw a decline in premium:

  • Humana Insurance Co. of Louisville, Kentucky, reported its premium dropped 4.5 percent in 2013 to $404.9 million.
  • QualChoice Holdings Inc. of Little Rock's premium also fell 3.9 percent to $148.9 million in 2013. The premium numbers include QualChoice’s subsidiary, QualChoice Life & Health Insurance Co.

QualChoice was one of the companies that have had corporate ownership changes.


In May, Prominence Health, a wholly owned subsidiary of Catholic Health Initiatives of Englewood, Colorado, bought QualChoice Holdings for a price that wasn’t disclosed. In a news release that announced the transaction, CHI said it didn’t expect any immediate changes for QualChoice’s operations, and no changes would occur in provider network participation by any QualChoice provider investors.

In May 2013, Aetna Inc. of Hartford, Connecticut, completed the previously announced purchase of Coventry Health Care Inc. of Bethesda, Maryland. Health insurance plans in Arkansas are still being sold under the Coventry name, Walt Cherniak, an Aetna spokesman told Arkansas Business last week.

But the days are numbered for the Coventry brand.

“Probably sometime in the next two years, you’ll see the Coventry name go away,” Cherniak said.



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