The commercial payer enjoys a market share advantage in more than double the number of metropolitan areas as the next two insurers, says AMA survey data. America's Health Insurance Plans calls the findings "fatally flawed."
WellPoint Inc. does business in more markets than any other private plan in the United States and its size and dominance could spur anti-competitive practices, the American Medical Association says.
The AMA's annual survey of insurer competition found that WellPoint was the largest insurer by market share in 82 of 388 metropolitan areas examined.
WellPoint operates in metropolitan markets in 13 states, including: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Missouri, New Hampshire, Nevada, Ohio, Virginia and West Virginia.
The commercial payer's commanding position in more than one in five metropolitan areas gives it a market share advantage in more than double the number of metropolitan areas as the next two insurers.
Health Care Service Corp. ranks second with a market share lead in 37 metropolitan areas, followed by UnitedHealth Group (UNH) with a market share lead in 35 metropolitan areas, AMA says in its study.
John Commins is a senior editor at HealthLeaders.