Close
ThinkAdvisor

Life Health > Health Insurance > Health Insurance

10 grimmest states for health insurance carrier jobs

X
Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) has been putting health insurance industry employment numbers on a spine-twisting rollercoaster in recent years.

Major medical insurers, in particular, need fewer individual health insurance underwriters, but more tech people who understand how to connect with HealthCare.gov without connecting with hackers from Bulgaria.

The PPACA individual and employer coverage mandates have offered medical insurers the possibility of getting more revenue, but the PPACA minimum medical loss ratio (MLR) standards, the PPACA rate review program and a barrage of PPACA-related penalties, fees, taxes and legislative affairs costs pose the threat of converting profit margins into loss margins. 

Meanwhile, the Census Bureau has interesting state-by-state County Business Patterns survey figures for every year from 1998 through 2013, the year before PPACA changed everything.

One interesting way to look at the numbers is to compare the data for 2003 with the data for 2013.

In 2003, the health maintenance organization (HMO) movement was sputtering out, the failure of the Medicare+Choice private Medicare plan market was fresh in insurance executives’ memories, and the personal health account concept was starting to spread.

In 2013, Medicare Advantage was hot, health savings accounts were becoming a core product, and the PPACA commercial health insurance programs were starting to take shape.

See also: PPACA spawned dozens of startups

Health insurers did better at creating jobs over that period than the financial services industry as a whole. 

  • Financial services employment fell 6.2 percent, to 6.1 million.

  • Insurance carrier employment fell 4.4 percent, to 1.4 million.

  • Health insurance and medical insurance employment rose 11 percent, to 503,818.

The picture the numbers paint is not crystal clear. The North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code for health carriers, 524114, lumps dental insurers together with major medical insurers and may also include issuers of some other health-related products. A table showing state-level summary data leaves out totals for some states for some years for a wide variety of reasons.

We tried comparing the state-level totals that we could get for 2003 and 2014, anyway, to get a rough sense of how health insurance ups and downs might have affected the number of people employed by health insurers in each state.

See also: 10 best cities for jobs: 2015

At the state-level, changes ranged from job count increases over 100 percent down to decreases of almost 50 percent.

This week, we’ll present a list of the states with the worst decreases, which shows how health insurer consolidation has hit the job count in some markets. Next week, we’ll present the states with the biggest increases.

For a look at the states with what would appear to be the coldest health insurance carrier employment markets, and an all-state health insurer employment table, read on. 

Mount Rushmore

10. South Dakota

2003 health carrier employment: 1,251

2013 health carrier employment: 1,194

Change, from 2003 to 2013, in percent: -5%

See also: South Dakota gets a new insurance commissioner 

A couple in Maine

 

9. Maine 

2003 health carrier employment: 1,719

2013 health carrier employment: 1,552

Change, from 2003 to 2013, in percent: -10%

See also: Low-cost CO-OPs win share

Newport, R.I.

8. Rhode Island

2003 health carrier employment: 2,186

2013 health carrier employment: 1,863

Change, from 2003 to 2013, in percent: -15%

See also: 5 platinum-budget PPACA exchange programs 

Image: Newport, Rhode Island (Getty Images/Albert Pego)

Oklahoma

 

7. Oklahoma 

2003 health carrier employment: 4,154

2013 health carrier employment: 3,403

Change, from 2003 to 2013, in percent: -18%

See also: 10 wild places to replace a knee 

A lighthouse in New Hampshire

6. New Hampshire 

2003 health carrier employment: 2,868

2013 health carrier employment: 2,239

Change, from 2003 to 2013, in percent: -22%

See also: 10 PPACA exchanges with upmarket appeal 

New Mexico highway

5. New Mexico

2003 health carrier employment: 3,098

2013 health carrier employment: 2,340

Change, from 2003 to 2013, in percent: -24%

See also: Escape from HealthCare.gov: New Mexico shops for an enrollment system

 

Bridge in Natchez, Mississippi

4. Mississippi

2003 health carrier employment: 1,384

2013 health carrier employment: 989

Change, from 2003 to 2013, in percent: -29%

See also: 5 worst states for local government hospital costs

Iowa flag, painted on a barn

3. Iowa

2003 health carrier employment: 4,315

2013 health carrier employment: 2,914

Change, from 2003 to 2013, in percent: -32%

See also: Principal Jettisons Health Insurance Unit 

West Virginia

2. West Virginia 

2003 health carrier employment: 1,701

2013 health carrier employment: 1,061

Change, from 2003 to 2013, in percent: -38%

See also: West Va. Regulator Sees HMO Changes Looming

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this article gave the incorrect 2003 health carrier employment figure for West Virginia. The correct figure is 1,701.

 Connecticut

1. Connecticut

2003 health carrier employment: 27,378

2013 health carrier employment: 15,107

Change, Change, from 2003 to 2013, in percent: -45%

See also: Aetna withdraws from home state exchange 

 

Health and medical insurance employment

Area Name

Paid employees, March 2013

Paid employees, March 2003

Change, 2003-2013

Alabama 4019 3668 10%
Alaska * * Not available
Arizona 12670 8719 45%
Arkansas 3220 * Not available
California 53808 44702 20%
Colorado 7634 3327 129%
Connecticut 15107 27378 -45%
Delaware 1781 1703 5%
District of Columbia * 2456 Not available
Florida 24113 22241 8%
Georgia 13022 10171 28%
Hawaii 3881 1937 100%
Idaho * 1495 Not available
Illinois 20171 18696 8%
Indiana 8391 8633 -3%
Iowa 2914 4315 -32%
Kansas 5499 3763 46%
Kentucky * 8504 Not available
Louisiana 4752 2678 77%
Maine 1552 1719 -10%
Maryland * 10275 Not available
Massachusetts 11798 10291 15%
Michigan 13382 13441 0%
Minnesota * 15392 Not available
Mississippi 989 1384 -29%
Missouri 10934 7760 41%
Montana 394 * Not available
Nebraska * 8205 Not available
Nevada * * Not available
New Hampshire 2239 2868 -22%
New Jersey 9701 9302 4%
New Mexico 2340 3098 -24%
New York 31623 31289 1%
North Carolina * 8984 Not available
North Dakota * * Not available
Ohio 16704 13759 21%
Oklahoma 3403 4154 -18%
Oregon 6333 6332 0%
Pennsylvania 43996 40699 8%
Rhode Island 1863 2186 -15%
South Carolina 12212 10848 13%
South Dakota 1194 1251 -5%
Tennessee * 9492 Not available
Texas 28836 22372 29%
Utah 3536 2792 27%
Vermont * * Not available
Virginia 12754 10660 20%
Washington 8286 8320 0%
West Virginia 1061 1701 -38%
Wisconsin 16942 12268 38%
Wyoming * * Not available
U.S. Census Bureau

See also: Group Health Enrollment Plummets

More on this topic