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Annual Checkup For Health Insurers Looked Good Last Year

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The 2007 checkup for health insurers is generally good, with one or two minor aches and pains.

The statistics are culled from Highline Data, an affiliate of National Underwriter Life & Health.

Three categories–all health insurers, group health insurers and individual health insurers–showed double-digit growth. In another health category, guaranteed renewable, earned premiums posted a more modest 2%. Only one category, non-cancellable, declined by 7%.

All health insurers’ premium

Earned premium for all health insurers grew 11% for the top 200 driven by a 17% increase for the top 10. The top 25 saw a 13% growth rate.

For the top 200, earned premium in 2007 totaled $149 billion up from $134.3 billion in 2006. Incurred claims for the top 200 grew at a slightly faster pace, increasing 11% in 2007 to $107.4 billion from $96.8 billion in 2006.

Group health insurers’ premium

A 10% increase in group health premium was recorded in 2007 as the top 200 reached $88.8 billion compared with $80.8 billion in 2006. The top 10 companies contributed to that growth with a 12% increase to $55.9 billion from 2006′s $50 billion, while the top 25 showed an 11% increase to $70.2 billion up from 2006′s $63.2 billion.

Growth in incurred claims in the top 10 companies far outpaced claims for the top 200 companies in 2007 with the top 10′s incurred claims increasing to $55.9 billion, 43% greater than 2006′s $39.1 billion. For the top 200, incurred claims increased to $68.3 billion, 10% greater than $61.9 billion. And, for the top 25, incurred claims rose 13% to $55.1 billion in 2007 up from $49 billion in 2006.

Individual health insurers’ premiums

Individual health insurers’ earned premiums for the top 50 grew 17% to $55 billion in 2007 up from $46.9 billion in 2006. The increase was driven by a 24% increase in the top 10 to $35.6 billion in 2007 from $28.7 billion in 2006. For the top 25, earned premiums grew 19% to $48.3 billion in 2007, up from $40.5 billion in 2006.

Incurred claims for the top 50 grew 20% to $36 billion in 2007 from $30 billion in 2006 while they grew 28% to $23.6 billion from $18.4 billion for the top 10. For the top 25, incurred claims grew 19% to $31.2 billion in 2007 compared with $26.2 billion in 2006.

Guaranteed Renewable

The top 50 insurers in the guaranteed renewable category showed a modest growth of 2% in earned premiums to $27.9 billion in 2007 from $27.4 billion in 2006. The increase was slightly larger than the growth for both the top 10 and top 25, which each experienced a 1% increase. The top 10 increased to $20.2 billion in 2007 from $19.9 billion in 2006, while the top 25 grew to $24.8 billion from $24.6 billion in 2006.

Incurred claims reached $15.8 billion for the top 50 in 2007, a change of 4% over $15.2 billion in 2006. For the top 10, the $11.2 billion in 2007 was 3% lower than the $11.5 billion posted in 2006, while the $14.2 billion in 2007 was 4% more than the $13.7 billion; the top 25 totaled in 2006.

Non-Cancellable

The top 50′s premiums in this category declined 7% in 2007 compared with 2006, and the top 25 posted a slightly larger 8% decline. The flat results for the top 10 helped keep the top 50′s change from being larger than previously.

The top 50 had total earned premiums that declined to $5.8 billion in 2007 from $6.3 billion in 2006. The top 25 showed totals of $5.7 billion in 2007 and $6.2 billion in 2006, while the top 10 had earned premiums of $5.1 billion for both 2007 and 2006.

However, incurred claims showed a steeper decline with the top 50 posting a drop of 37% to $2.6 billion in 2007 from $4.2 billion in 2006. The top 25′s claims declined 39% to $2.5 billion from $4.1 billion, and the top 10′s claims fell 25% to $2.1 billion from $2.7 billion.

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