Sitting atop the health insurance business with premiums earned of more than twice the second-place insurer is United Healthcare Insurance Company, which in 2008 had premiums of $32.15 billion, an amount 9.5% greater than the previous year.
In the All Health Insurers category, the three other companies with premiums over $10 billion last year were Humana Insurance Company with $14.03 billion; American Family Life (Columbus) with $13.17 billion; and Aetna Life Insurance Company with $12.59 billion. These three had growth rates, respectively, of 15.3%, 14.6% and 34.2%.
In the case of these four top health insurers, claims incurred outpaced the growth in premium revenue. United’s claims incurred grew by 12.4%, while Humana’s were up 19.3%; AFLAC’s up 23.2%; and Aetna’s up 36%.
All told, 29 health insurers had premiums earned of over $1 billion in 2008, up from 26 the previous year.
Of these 29, the company with the highest growth rate, year over year, was Pennsylvania Life Insurance Company, whose premiums earned rose 170% to $1.78 billion in 2008 from $658 million the year before.
Not every company in this group of 29 showed an increase in premiums last year, however. Nine companies saw a decrease in premiums earned in 2008, with one company essentially flat.
In six of these 9 companies, claims incurred also decreased, but 2 of these companies saw an increase in claims incurred despite a decrease in premiums. They were Bankers Life & Casualty Company and Time Insurance Company, at #19 and #20, respectively, on the All Health Insurers list.
In the Group Health Premiums category, United Healthcare ranks #1 with $24.68 billion in premiums earned, up from $22.75 billion the year before.
All told, 17 insurers had premiums earned of over $1 billion in 2008 in this category, up from 16 in 2007. There were two newcomers to this circle: Golden Rule Insurance at #16 and Lincoln National Life Insurance Company at #17. One company dropped below the billion-dollar mark and that was Union Security Insurance Company.
Of these 17 billion-dollar-plus group health insurers, Connecticut General Life Insurance Company had the highest growth rate. Its group health premiums earned increased 27% to $6.21 billion from $4.89 billion the year before.
Aetna Life at #2 grew by some 14.6 % to $8.9 billion in premiums earned, up from $7.77 billion in 2007.