HealthLeaders-InterStudy, the leading provider of managed care market intelligence, reports that Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey, the state's oldest and only locally based major health insurer, is on a mission recapture market share from national competitors. According to the latest TriState Health Plan Analysis, through aggressive marketing and pricing strategies, the health plan is realizing sizeable membership gains in the commercial sector.
"For the past several years, Horizon has been engaged in a growth strategy in New Jersey across all market segments," states Chris Lewis, market analyst with HealthLeaders-InterStudy.
In late 2005, Horizon kicked into high gear in response to Aetna's aggressive price-cutting strategy that enabled it to gain ground in enrollment against the local Blues plan and other insurers. Horizon began tightening up its underwriting, cutting prices for several quarters and developing products that offered more flexibility and choice for employer groups. With a goal to reach 4 million members by 2011, in their commercial business alone, Horizon has close to 700,000 PPO members and 200,000 HMO members as of January 2007, and nearly half of its business is self-insured.
Aetna remains the largest HMO in New Jersey with over 800,000 members in all HMO product lines, and UnitedHealthcare, along with its Oxford Health Plans subsidiary, leads the market in PPO business with nearly 700,000 members.
Carriers are battling over the small group market, which is estimated to account for 70 to 80 percent of the health insurance business in New Jersey. Horizon has been strong the past couple of years in both luring and renewing small business accounts through rate reductions and product innovations, important in a state where guaranteed issue of policies pushes up prices.
Besides, New Jersey, the TriState Health Plan Analysis also covers the Connecticut and New York health plan markets.
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