Health payers generate economic growth by providing insurance coverage, creating jobs, and making tax contributions, according to AHIP.
The healthcare payer and insurance industry are key drivers of state economies across the country, not only by expanding access to care and payer coverage, but by creating jobs for millions of individuals, concluded a report from America’s Health Insurance Plans.
The Health Coverage: State-to-State 2019 report outlined the various impacts health insurance plans have on national and by individual state. Specifically, the report looks at access to healthcare coverage, the number of jobs the industry directly and indirectly creates, and the tax revenues the industry funnels to statewide economies.
“Insurance providers have deep roots in local communities across America. We not only provide coverage and peace of mind for millions of Americans, but also provide challenging, well-paying job opportunities with benefits that support and sustain local economies,” Matt Eyles, president and CEO of AHIP, said in a statement. “As we expand coverage and jobs to more places, we continue to find innovative ways to get Americans the care they need when they need it, at a cost they can afford.”
Nationwide, over 170 million individuals are covered by some form of a private or public payer plan. Health plans both directly and indirectly employ over 1.5 million people while the industry contributes more than $20 million in tax revenue annually via state premium taxes.
Most individuals are accessing their insurance through large group plans or Medicaid plans. Currently, over 42 million beneficiaries are enrolled in a large group plan, while just over 54 million are enrolled in a Medicaid plan.
Just shy of 13 million individuals are enrolled on an individual health plan or a small group plan, while over 13 million and 20 million have Medigap or Medicare Advantage, respectively.
About 15 million individuals are enrolled in a high-deductible health plan or have a health savings account, the report revealed.
These numbers are big wins, the report authors suggested. Access to comprehensive health insurance supports better patient health and the likelihood that a patient will access healthcare when it is necessary.
Separate data from Gallup says that adult uninsurance rates come in at a four-year high of 13 percent.
That said, the healthcare payer industry is still making contributions to the American economy, AHIP suggested. Just below 574,000 individuals are employed by a health insurance company, earning a combined $45,334,549,000 annually. The average wage for a single insurance company employee is $79,017.
There are nearly one million individuals with an insurance-related occupation, earning a combined $64,156,703,000 each year. An individual employee working in an insurance-related job makes an average of $66,627 annually, AHIP stated.
These jobs help stimulate the economy, AHIP suggested, working to improve the financial health of individuals and businesses across the country.
Finally, AHIP looked at the tax contributions the largest insurers make each year. The contributions total to $21,001,801,000 annually, and are funded in large part by payer giants Aetna, Anthem, the Health Care Service Corporation, Humana, Kaiser Permanente, and United Healthcare.
Centene, Molina Healthcare, Mutual of Omaha, and Wellcare also made considerable tax contributions, AHIP noted.
These tax revenues stem from premium taxes and likewise help stimulate the economy, the researchers noted.
These results come as the healthcare industry debates the role of the health insurance industry. Proposals for a single-payer health system have called into question the benefits of the health insurance industry.
This latest report may serve as AHIP’s efforts to underscore what it says is the importance of a health insurance industry, not only for providing healthcare coverage but for stimulating the economy through job growth and tax contributions.
Date: June 11, 2019
Source: Health Payer Intelligence