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On health side, scale counts.

LOOKING AT THE CHARTS OF statistics in the health category, one fact becomes apparent: scale counts.

In all but one category, the top 10 carriers at least equaled the increases that the entire listing showed. And, in cases such as all health insurers and group health premiums, the top 10 outpaced the growth of the category as a whole.

Premium of all health insurers for the top 300 grew 9% to $117.3 h billion in 2005 from $107.3 billion in 2004. The growth was even greater for the top 10 in the category with a 15% increase to $55.8 billion in 2005, up from $48.7 billion in 2004.

In fact, the top 10 represented just under half of the premium for all health insurers, with a 48% total. In 2004, the top 10 represented 45% of the top 300.

Several companies in the top 10 ranking of the all health insurers category posted double-digit increases. Included in that group are: Aetna Life with a 35% increase; United Healthcare with 25%; BC Life & Health with 26%; and Metropolitan Life and American Life, both with 16%.

In the category of group health premium, the top 300 companies grew 10% to $79.3 billion in 2005, up from $72.2 billion in 2004, a 10% increase.

The top 10 in that category experienced even more growth with a 14% increase to $44.5 billion in 2005, up from $38.9 billion in 2004. Companies in the top 10 represented 56% of the total for the top 300 in 2005, up from 54% in 2004.

For the top 50 companies in the individual health category, premium increased 6.6% to $28.6 billion in 2005, up from $26.8 billion in 2004.

The top 10 in the individual health category posted total premium of $17.9 billion in 2005, up 4.9% over 2004's $17.1 billion.

Big gainers in the category include: Humana with a 233% increase; UNUM Life Ins. Co. of America with a 57% increase; Met Life with 46%; and BC Life & Health Ins. Co. with a 44% increase.

The top 300 companies in the guaranteed renewable category experienced 7% growth, growing to $27.5 billion in 2005 from $25.7 billion in 2004.

The top 10 in the category experienced a slightly greater growth rate, posting 8% in 2005 compared with 2004. In 2005, the top 10 had guaranteed renewable premium of $17 billion compared with $15.8 billion in 2004.

In the non-cancellable premium category, 2005's $6.2 billion total for the top 187 companies was an 11% increase over 2004's $5.6 billion total.

The top 10 companies in the non-cancellable category represented 87% of the 187 companies in the group in both 2005 and 2004. The top 10 also grew by 11% to $5.4 billion in 2005 compared with $4.9 billion in 2004.

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Copyright 2006 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Comment:On health side, scale counts.(FOCUS: LIFE & HEALTH STATISTICAL REPORT)
Author:Connolly, Jim
Publication:National Underwriter Life & Health
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Aug 21, 2006
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