Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Houston Methodist, your Trusted Link for March 2021


Houston Methodist as a Resource

The #1 hospital in Texas, according to US News & World Report, #20 on the Best Hospitals Honor Roll, with national ranking in 11 adult specialties, the Houston Methodist hospital system has a Level III trauma center and over 2,500 beds. 

Founded in 1919 during the height of the Spanish Flu epidemic, Houston Methodist has been headquartered in the Texas Medical Center since 1951. It currently has six hospitals in the Houston area. It's famous for cardiovascular surgery, cancer, epilepsy treatment, and organ transplantation. 

Houston Methodist's academic affiliations include Cornell University's Weill Cornell Medical College and the New York-Presbyterian Hospital, as well as the Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine

At Houston Methodist in 1950, Dr. Michael DeBakey performed the first removal of a carotid artery blockage. In 1964, he performed the first aorto-coronary bypass surgery. In 1966, he was the first to use a ventricular assist device to pump blood and support a diseased heart.

In 1968, the world's first simultaneous multiple-organ transplant took place at Houston Methodist. Today, the J.C. Walter Jr. Transplant Center supports patients undergoing organ or tissue transplants, and those facing advanced organ failure.

The Houston Methodist Center for Performing Arts Medicine treats performing artists in disciplines including dance, voice, and instrumental music. Houston Methodist is also the official health care provider for the Houston Texans and Houston Astros sports teams. 

The Houston Methodist Research Institute supports the unique technological needs inherent to conducting translational research. It has built over 20 core facilities that provide investigators and external researchers access to exceptional scientific technology. 

The Houston Methodist Institute for Technology, Innovation and Education (MITIE) features a virtual hospital, procedural skills lab, and high-tech operating rooms where physicians and surgeons learn new skills.

The EnMed program, created in partnership with Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine, is an innovative Engineering Medicine program designed to educate a new kind of physician who will create transformational technology for health care. EnMed students fulfill all academic and professional requirements for the MD degree, and engage in additional experiences involving engineering, innovation and entrepreneurship.

Explore Houston Methodist Innovations

Small Business Employee-Only Premium Costs in the Far West U.S.

Annual small business employee-only (i.e. singe premium) health premium costs in the five-state Far West U.S. and nationally, from the most recent (2019) Medical Expenditure Panel Survey, a periodic survey conducted by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality:

All Businesses with Businesses with Businesses with
State under 50 Employees 10 to 24 Employees under 10 Employees
AK $9,427 $8,773 $11,344
CA $6,874 $7,002 $7,150
HI $6,746 $6,495 $6,858
OR $5,933 $5,965 $7,232
WA $6,259 $5,989 $6,963
U.S. $6,920 $6,892 $7,528

Source:  Medical Expenditure Panel Survey  Table II.C.1 - Average total single premium (in dollars) per enrolled employee at private-sector establishments that offer health insurance by firm size and State: United States, 2019

Friday, March 26, 2021

Small Business Employee-Only Health Premium Costs in the Mountain States

Except for New Mexico and Wyoming, the annual employee-only premium (i.e. single premium) costs for health insurance coverage for small businesses (with fewer than 50 employees) in the Mountain states typically run below national average rates for similarly sized businesses. Average small business premium costs are higher in New Mexico and Wyoming mainly because of particularly high costs for businesses with fewer than 10 employees. Data from the most recent (2019) Medical Expenditure Panel Survey, a health-cost related survey conducted by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, provides the following detail about annual small business employee-only health premium costs in the Mountain states and nationally:

All Businesses with Businesses with Businesses with
State under 50 Employees 10 to 24 Employees under 10 Employees
AZ $5,924 $5,528 $6,436
CO $6,144 $6,410 $6,443
ID $5,962 $5,651 $6,656
MT $6,063 $6,826 $5,584
NV $5,464 $5,874 $5,764
NM $7,249 $6,372 $8,203
UT $5,067 $5,116 $4,656
WY $7,590 $6,215 $8,224
U.S. $6,920 $6,892 $7,528

Source:  Medical Expenditure Panel Survey  Table II.C.1 - Average total single premium (in dollars) per enrolled employee at private-sector establishments that offer health insurance by firm size and State: United States, 2019

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Small Business Employee-Only Health Premium Costs in the North Central States

The annual single premium (i.e. employee-only ) rate for health insurance coverage for small businesses (with less than 50 employees) in the North Central region of the United States generally run lower than average rates for similarly sized businesses elsewhere.  Data from the most recent (2019) Medical Expenditure Panel Survey, a health-cost related survey conducted by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, reveals the following about yearly small business employee-only health premium costs in the North Central states and nationally:

All Businesses with Businesses with Businesses with
State under 50 Employees 10 to 24 Employees under 10 Employees
IA $5,989 $5,982 $6,159
KS $5,907 $5,215 $6,457
MN $6,419 $6,402 $7,284
MO $6,366 $5,825 $6,262
NE $6,402 $6,470 $6,456
ND $6,864 $7,428 $6,670
SD $6,903 $7,483 $6,970
U.S. $6,920 $6,892 $7,528

Source:  Medical Expenditure Panel Survey  Table II.C.1 - Average total single premium (in dollars) per enrolled employee at private-sector establishments that offer health insurance by firm size and State: United States, 2019

Friday, March 19, 2021

Medicare Advantage Market Share by Region

Medicare Advantage (MA) Plans can be a great value compared to traditional Medicare, thanks to added benefits and typically lower premium costs.  Managed care cost control protocols notwithstanding, Medicare eligible seniors continue to gravitate to the better value MA plans offer.  In just over four years, from October 2016 through January 2021, the market share of MA plans across the U.S. has grown from under 31% of Medicare eligible Americans to over 41%.

The growing popularity of MA plans nationally is mirrored in every region of the U.S.  Here is a more detailed breakdown of Medicare Advantage market share by region (for state-by-state details, follow the "region" link):

Medicare Eligible (1) MA Enrollment (1) % MA Market Share
Region Jan-21 Oct-16 Jan-21 Oct-16 Jan-21 Oct-16
FrWest 9,704.0 8,679.3 4,240.0 3,286.1 43.7% 37.9%
GLakes 9,272.2 8,553.3 3,814.1 2,469.4 41.1% 28.9%
MidEast 9,449.3 8,804.9 3,714.5 2,639.5 39.1% 30.0%
NwEng 3,095.9 2,828.4 1,038.2 608.8 33.5% 21.5%
Plains 4,165.8 3,814.1 1,416.7 722.0 34.0% 18.9%
Rockies 2,073.6 1,792.5 797.9 536.0 38.5% 29.9%
SE 17,214.7 15,539.5 7,381.4 4,774.8 42.9% 30.7%
SW 6,885.3 6,050.2 2,917.8 1,879.8 42.4% 31.1%
USA (2) 62,741.5 56,888.7 25,936.7 17,489.5 41.3% 30.7%

(1) in thousands
(2) includes U.S. territories

Thursday, March 18, 2021

Small Business Employee-Only Health Premium Costs in the South Central U.S.

The annual employee-only premium (i.e. single premium) cost for small business (fewer than 50 employees) health insurance coverage in the South Central U.S. generally runs lower than the national average cost for similarly sized businesses. Data from the 2019 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey, the most recent survey conducted by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality to capture health insurance cost data, reveals the following about yearly small business employee-only health premium costs in the South Central U.S. region and nationally:

All Businesses with Businesses with Businesses with
State under 50 Employees 10 to 24 Employees under 10 Employees
AL $6,420 $6,408 $6,845
AR $5,545 $6,316 $6,340
KY $6,697 $7,080 $8,603
LA $7,402 $7,000 $7,588
MS $6,885 $7,868 N/A
OK $6,381 $6,551 N/A
TN $6,221 $6,474 $6,812
TX $6,974 $6,568 $8,289
U.S. $6,920 $6,892 $7,528

Source:  Medical Expenditure Panel Survey  Table II.C.1 - Average total single premium (in dollars) per enrolled employee at private-sector establishments that offer health insurance by firm size and State: United States, 2019

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Medicare Advantage Market Share in New England

Medicare Advantage (MA) plans, with extra benefits and typically lower costs, offer a great value compared to traditional Medicare. Despite employing sometimes unpopular managed care protocols to control costs, the better value of MA plans continues to draw more and more Medicare eligible seniors away from traditional Medicare coverage.  In a span of just over four years, from October 2016 through January 2021, the penetration of Medicare Advantage plans across the U.S. has grown from under 31% of Medicare eligible Americans to over 41%.

The growing popularity of MA plans nationally is also seen in the six-state New England region, where Medicare Advantage plan enrollment has grown from an under 22% share of the Medicare eligible market in October 2016 to more than 33% as of January 2021.  Here is a state-by-state look at how Medicare Advantage market share in New England has grown from October 2016 to January 2021:


Medicare Advantage Market Share in New England

Medicare Advantage Market Share in New England

Medicare Eligible (1) MA Enrollment (1) % MA Market Share
State Jan-21 Oct-16 Jan-21 Oct-16 Jan-21 Oct-16
CT 695.3 643.9 326.2 172.2 46.9% 26.7%
MA 1,361.6 1,250.9 351.0 249.7 25.8% 20.0%
ME 350.0 315.3 157.7 80.3 45.1% 25.5%
NH 310.4 273.9 75.5 22.6 24.3% 8.2%
RI 226.1 208.5 100.2 73.6 44.3% 35.3%
VT 152.6 135.9 27.6 10.4 18.1% 7.6%
Region 3,095.9 2,828.4 1,038.2 608.8 33.5% 21.5%
Total (2) 62,741.5 56,888.7 25,936.7 17,489.5 41.3% 30.7%

(1) in thousands; region totals may not equal sum of individual states due to rounding adjustments
(2) includes U.S. territories

Monday, March 15, 2021

Small Business Employee-Only Health Premium Costs in the Great Lakes Region

Annual small business employee-only health premium costs in the five-state Great Lakes region and nationally, from the most recent (2019) Medical Expenditure Panel Survey, a periodic survey conducted by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality:

All Businesses with Businesses with Businesses with
State under 50 Employees 10 to 24 Employees under 10 Employees
IL $7,315 $6,797 $8,400
IN $7,305 $7,840 $7,608
MI $6,133 $7,004 $5,692
OH $7,113 $6,804 $8,490
WI $6,479 $6,094 $7,510
U.S. $6,920 $6,892 $7,528

Source:  Medical Expenditure Panel Survey  Table II.C.1 - Average total single premium (in dollars) per enrolled employee at private-sector establishments that offer health insurance by firm size and State: United States, 2019

Friday, March 12, 2021

Medicare Advantage Market Share in the Rocky Mountain Region

Thanks to additional benefits and usually lower costs than regular Medicare coverage, Medicare Advantage (MA) Plans have much to offer cost-sensitive Medicare eligible individuals. Despite utilizing sometimes unpopular managed care protocols to control costs, MA plans, with their more compelling value propositions, have been attracting growing numbers of Medicare eligible seniors away from regular Medicare coverage.  In slightly over four years, from October 2016 through January 2021, the market share of MA plans across the U.S. has grown from under 31% of Medicare eligible seniors to slightly more than 41%.

The growing popularity of Medicare Advantage plans nationally is mirrored in the five-state Rocky Mountain region of the U.S., where MA plan enrollment has grown from an approximate 29.9% share of the Medicare eligible market in October 2016 to a 38.5% share as of January 2021.  Here is a state-by-state look at how Medicare Advantage market share in the Rocky Mountain region has expanded from October 2016 to January 2021:

Medicare Advantage Market Share in the Rocky Mountain Region

Medicare Advantage Market Share in the Rocky Mountain Region


Medicare Eligible (1) MA Enrollment (1) % MA Market Share
State Jan-21 Oct-16 Jan-21 Oct-16 Jan-21 Oct-16
CO 948.5 829.9 425.3 274.4 44.8% 33.1%
ID 352.1 294.7 138.2 93.7 39.2% 31.8%
MT 239.7 209.6 52.7 41.6 22.0% 19.8%
UT 418.2 359.3 176.7 123.7 42.3% 34.4%
WY 115.1 98.9 4.9 2.6 4.3% 2.6%
Region 2,073.6 1,792.5 797.9 536.0 38.5% 29.9%
Total (2) 62,741.5 56,888.7 25,936.7 17,489.5 41.3% 30.7%

(1) in thousands; region totals may not equal sum of individual states due to rounding adjustments
(2) includes U.S. territories

Thursday, March 11, 2021

Small Business Employee Only Health Premium Costs in the South Atlantic Region

Data from the most recent Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (2019), a periodic survey conducted by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, reveals the following about annual small business employee-only health premium costs in the South Atlantic region and nationally:

All Businesses with Businesses with Businesses with
State under 50 Employees 10 to 24 Employees under 10 Employees
DE $8,458 $8,266 $10,636
DC $6,787 $6,088 $6,988
FL $7,147 $6,869 $7,166
GA $6,643 $7,228 $6,431
MD $6,672 $6,332 $7,248
NC $6,468 $7,234 $7,005
SC $7,376 $8,283 $8,098
VA $6,979 $6,619 $8,784
WV $7,361 $7,272 $7,027
U.S. $6,920 $6,892 $7,528

Source:  Medical Expenditure Panel Survey  Table II.C.1 - Average total single premium (in dollars) per enrolled employee at private-sector establishments that offer health insurance by firm size and State: United States, 2019

Tuesday, March 9, 2021

Medicare Advantage Market Share in the Great Plains Region

With typically lower premium costs and additional benefits, Medicare Advantage (MA) Plans provide Medicare eligible seniors with a compelling value proposition in comparison to traditional Medicare coverage. Despite employing sometimes unpopular managed care protocols to control costs, the value appeal of MA plans continues to draw more and more Medicare eligible seniors away from traditional Medicare coverage.  In a little more than four years, from October 2016 through January 2021, the market share of MA plans across the U.S. has grown from less than 31% of Medicare eligible Americans to more than 41%.

The increasing popularity of MA plans nationally is likewise evident in the Great Plains region of the U.S., where Medicare Advantage plan enrollment has grown from an approximate 19% share of the Medicare eligible market in October 2016 to a 34% market share as of January 2021.  Here is a state-by-state look at how Medicare Advantage market share in the Great Plains region has grown from October 2016 to January 2021:


Medicare Advantage Market Share in the Great Plains Region
Medicare Advantage Market Share in the Great Plains Region

Medicare Eligible (1) MA Enrollment (1) % MA Market Share
State Jan-21 Oct-16 Jan-21 Oct-16 Jan-21 Oct-16
IA 639.8 588.7 161.7 92.5 25.3% 15.7%
KS 549.6 500.2 131.2 70.7 23.9% 14.1%
MN 1,052.8 949.8 483.1 160.5 45.9% 16.9%
MO 1,253.5 1,167.7 538.1 349.7 42.9% 30.0%
NE 355.2 324.0 76.9 38.3 21.7% 11.8%
ND 135.0 121.5 7.5 2.0 5.5% 1.6%
SD 180.0 162.1 18.3 8.3 10.1% 5.1%
Region 4,165.8 3,814.1 1,416.7 722.0 34.0% 18.9%
Total (2) 62,741.5 56,888.7 25,936.7 17,489.5 41.3% 30.7%

(1) in thousands; region totals may not equal sum of individual states due to rounding adjustments
(2) includes U.S. territories

Monday, March 8, 2021

Small Business Employee-Only Health Premium Costs in the Mid-Atlantic States

The annual employee-only premium (i.e. single premium) rate for health insurance coverage for small businesses (with less than 50 employees) in the Mid-Atlantic states typically run above national average rates for similarly sized businesses. Data from the most recent (2019) Medical Expenditure Panel Survey, a survey conducted by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, details the following about yearly small business employee-only health premium costs in the Mid-Atlantic states and nationally:

All Businesses with Businesses with Businesses with
State under 50 Employees 10 to 24 Employees under 10 Employees
NJ $7,785 $8,880 $7,678
NY $8,253 $7,844 $8,823
PA $7,268 $6,909 $8,045
U.S. $6,920 $6,892 $7,528

Source:  Medical Expenditure Panel Survey  Table II.C.1 - Average total single premium (in dollars) per enrolled employee at private-sector establishments that offer health insurance by firm size and State: United States, 2019

Friday, March 5, 2021

Medicare Advantage Market Share in the Far West

Despite employing managed care cost controls that are sometimes unpopular with consumers, Medicare Advantage (MA) plans have experienced strong market share growth across the country in recent years. With additional benefits and typically lower costs, MA Plans offer a compelling value compared to Original Medicare, a value proposition that is drawing more and more interest from Medicare eligible seniors.  In slightly over four years, from October 2016 through January 2021, the market share of MA plans across the U.S. has grown from under 31% of Medicare eligible Americans to over 41%.

The increasing popularity of Medicare Advantage plans nationally is reflected in the six-state Far West region of the U.S., where MA plan enrollment has grown from an approximate 38% share of the Medicare eligible market in October 2016 to almost 44% as of January 2021.  Here is a state-by-state look at how Medicare Advantage market share in the Far West has grown from October 2016 to January 2021:


Medicare Advantage Market Share in the Far West
Medicare Advantage Market Share in the Far West

Medicare Eligible (1) MA Enrollment (1) % MA Market Share
State Jan-21 Oct-16 Jan-21 Oct-16 Jan-21 Oct-16
AK 102.5 86.6 1.5 0.4 1.5% 0.4%
CA 6,461.3 5,840.0 2,889.7 2,288.6 44.7% 39.2%
HI 283.6 252.3 139.1 115.3 49.0% 45.7%
NV 552.4 473.2 235.2 161.0 42.6% 34.0%
OR 892.7 786.9 432.6 347.3 48.5% 44.1%
WA 1,411.5 1,240.3 542.0 373.6 38.4% 30.1%
Region 9,704.0 8,679.3 4,240.0 3,286.1 43.7% 37.9%
Total (2) 62,741.5 56,888.7 25,936.7 17,489.5 41.3% 30.7%

(1) in thousands; region totals may not equal sum of individual states due to rounding adjustments
(2) includes U.S. territories

Thursday, March 4, 2021

Small Business Health Premium Rates in New England

The annual single premium (i.e. employee-only) rate for health insurance coverage for small businesses (with fewer than 50 employees) in New England typically run higher than national average rates for similarly sized businesses. In comparison to national average rates, the smallest firms, with fewer than 10 employees, in Connecticut, Maine, New Hampshire and Rhode Island are subject to particularly high annual premium rates for employee-only health plan coverage.  2019 data from the most recent Medical Expenditure Panel Survey, a data survey conducted by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, reveals the following about small business employee-only health premium rates in New England and nationally:

All Businesses with Businesses with Businesses with
State under 50 Employees 10 to 24 Employees under 10 Employees
CT $7,607 $7,030 $8,294
ME $6,295 $6,836 $5,914
MA $8,017 $8,036 $8,643
NH $7,136 $7,072 $8,070
RI $7,483 $7,224 $9,466
VT $6,978 $6,655 $7,502
U.S. $6,920 $6,892 $7,528

Source:  Medical Expenditure Panel Survey  Table II.C.1 - Average total single premium (in dollars) per enrolled employee at private-sector establishments that offer health insurance by firm size and State: United States, 2019