American Medical Association Criticizes Lack of Competition In Arkansas Health Insurance Market

The American Medical Association has called out a number of states, including Arkansas, for a lack of competition among large health insurers.

The AMA recently released a study showing that the “majority” of health insurance markets in the U.S. were “highly concentrated.”

“These markets are ripe for the exercise of health insurer market power, which is detrimental to society,” the report said.

Arkansas was named as the state with the third least competitive health maintenance organization market, trailing only Rhode Island and Alabama.

According to the full study, Arkansas Blue Cross & Blue Shield has 86 percent of the state’s HMO market. The next largest carrier, United HealthCare of Arkansas Inc., has a scant 12 percent.

Blue Cross dominated Arkansas’ other health insurance markets as well. It has 60 percent of the state’s preferred provider organization market and 39 percent of the state’s total market (excluding government insurance but including self-insured employer plans).

The only product in which ABCBS did not rule was point-of-service plans, where United HealthCare had 41 percent, followed by Cigna with 29 percent.