By the numbers: The health insurance market


Image courtesy of criminalatt /

Image courtesy of criminalatt /

The year from which we are now stumbling nervously away was tricky for health insurers with a nostalgic fondness for commercial health coverage, painful for many producers in the individual and small group health insurance markets, and lucrative for anyone who got paid to explain Federal Register documents to benefits administrators and health insurance company executives.

Employers and their benefits advisors were starting to feel the effects of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), and get a whiff of what might transpire in 2014, when major PPACA provisions are supposed to go live, but the 2012 changes weren't really that transformative.

We've been waiting for the U.S. health finance system to go through a major reorganization since the mid-1990s, when trial lawyers and regulators went to work on the HMO care utilization managers.

In 2012, prices went up a little more slowly, the enrollees got a little older and a little grayer, and consumers reported having a little easier time getting access to health care.

We'll start 2013 in about the same state we were in a year earlier: Waiting for the reorganization.


Health infographic

About the Author
Nichole Morford

Nichole Morford

Nichole Morford is the Managing Editor of, and is a former Managing Editor of Agent’s Sales Journal magazine. Prior to joining the Summit Business Media team in 2010, she spent six years as an editor with Penguin Group, managing non-fiction titles in both the reference and lifestyle categories. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from Seattle Pacific University, and is a graduate of the Columbia Publishing Course at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism. A Seattle native, Nichole relocated from London to Colorado in 2009. She lives with her husband in downtown Denver and can be reached at or on Twitter @LifeHealthPro.


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