In 2018, 75 percent of commercial health insurance markets were highly concentrated, according to a study published by the American Medical Association.
For its study, AMA analyzed market concentration in 382 metropolitan areas across the nation. AMA estimated that 73 million Americans with commercial health plans live in highly concentrated markets and don’t have many health plans to choose from.
“Americans in three-quarters of commercial health insurance markets have a limited number of health insurers from which to choose,” AMA President Patrice Harris, MD, said in a prepared statement. “In almost half of metropolitan areas, a single health insurer has 50 percent or more of the market, and patients are not benefiting from this degree of market power. While health insurers grow corporate profits, networks are too narrow, premiums are too high, and benefits are too watered down.”
The study was published the same day the Health Care Cost Institute published an analysis finding a growing number of metropolitan areas have highly concentrated hospital markets. HCCI found that by 2016, hospital markets in the majority (72 percent) of 112 metro areas the institute studied were highly concentrated. HCCI said this “reflects the fact that most metros became increasingly concentrated over time.”
Read the full AMA study here.
The Federal Reserve cut interest rates by a quarter point on Wednesday, bringing the target range for the benchmark Fed Funds rate to 1.75%–2%.
Why it matters: The Fed’s 2nd consecutive rate cut reflects worries about the U.S. economy. The trade war and slowing growth around the world have made corporate executives more worried than they’ve been in years.
At a bankruptcy court hearing in White Plains, N.Y., on Tuesday, Paul K. Schwartzberg, an attorney for the U.S. Trustee, raised objections to some of the bonuses. While it is typical for companies in bankruptcy to try to pay employees as a firm seeks to regain its financial footing, the Purdue Pharma bonuses go “way beyond” what is typical, he said.
The employee bonuses are part of the company’s long-standing incentive programs, according to the company. It is asking the bankruptcy court’s permission to pay out $26.5 million under its “Annual Incentive Plan,” which covers one year of company and employee performance, and another $7.9 million under its long-term rewards plan, which covers the last three years.