HealthLeaders-InterStudy, the leading provider of managed care market intelligence, reports that more than two years after purchasing PacifiCare Health Systems, UnitedHealthcare is making a concerted effort to grow its membership in Washington with its consumer-directed and traditional products. According to the latest Oregon and Washington Health Plan Analysis, the health plan's new products will be available statewide to employers with 50 or more workers, and include PPO and consumer directed health plans.
"Despite United's dominance as a national carrier, cracking the Washington market will prove a challenge," states Don Mooradian, market analyst for HealthLeaders-InterStudy and author of the report. "There are several other big players who are heavily entrenched in both the PPO and HMO markets."
According to HealthLeaders-InterStudy enrollment data from mid-2006, Premera Blue Cross maintains a 37 percent share of the PPO market, followed by Regence BlueShield with 15 percent and Aetna with 7 percent. On the HMO side of the business, HealthLeaders-InterStudy data shows Group Health Cooperative with a 62 percent share, followed by Kaiser Foundation Health Plans with 17 percent share. Comparatively, combined UnitedHealthcare-PacifiCare HMO and PPO enrollment based on mid-2006 year enrollment data was 9.5 percent and 5 percent, respectively.
The new product offerings recently launched within the state include HMO, PPO, consumer-directed health plans, ASO, Medicare HMO and Medicare supplement. With the launch of these plans, United hopes to compete more effectively in the market, offering employers of all sizes more affordable healthcare options.
With a small overall market presence within the state of Washington, the discounts the health plan will be able to offer will influence the business they are able to pick up in the market. As contracts renew towards the end of the year and the company becomes more familiar in the market, a clearer picture on United's impact on the market will emerge.
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