The Annual Exhibit of Premiums, Enrollment and Utilization, collected by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), provides information on utilization of health care services in the commercial market. We analyze the most recent data from the third quarter of 2014.
These latest figures reflect compositional changes in the populations enrolled in both the individual and group segments of the commercial market. The results show the third consecutive quarter of a trend toward convergence in utilization. The gap in utilization between the two populations is clearly narrowing, as utilization has increased in the non-group market and decreased in the group market.
The data may suggest that multiple changes in benefit design and care management, which were designed to reduce utilization, are working. Although the net effect of these changes and the ultimate trajectory of health care costs are far from certain, these data continue to provide an interesting perspective.