Health Insurance Companies: Better or Worse after Obamacare?

Health Insurance Companies:

Better or Worse after Obamacare?

The Affordable Healthcare Act, also known as Obamacare, you either love it or hate it. Few are in between. There are stories of some people saying that Obamacare literally saved their life, while others have said that it financially ruined them. For every person that says Obamacare saved them from failing to secure health insurance coverage due to a pre-existing condition there is another person that says the cost was so high that they were forced to choose between insurance and groceries.

Health Insurance Companies: Better or Worse after Obamacare?

The goal of this study

The goal of this study is to find out the which major health insurance companies have grown as a result of Obamacare and which have fallen victim. The results of the study include a state-by-state analysis of health insurance providers and a conclusion that estimates which providers are growing or decreasing in popularity.  The studied health insurance companies that had reasonable data to work with included:

  • Aetna
  • Anthem
  • Cigna
  • Humana
  • United Health
which health insurance company is better?

The rocket science

No worries if you’re not into rocket science. We’ll break down the results with easy-to-understand charts down further.  Otherwise, in the context of this study, popularity refers to the internet dominance of a provider with data from Google Trends. This is calculated as a percentage of the total searches of all covered providers using the formula below.

P = 100(I)/(T)

Where:

P = popularity
I = search instances of the specified health insurance company
T = total search instances for all health insurance companies

Because all the providers were analyzed as “Topics” instead of “Querries”, even vague queries for the providers were included in the analysis (e.g. UHG Esso was included by Trends even if there is no UnitedHealth Group mentioned in the query). Also note that ratings do not correspond and are not meant to reflect the performance of the number of covered individuals, care or service provided, financial assets of the companies, or any other data. These ratings only correspond to how much internet attention the companies are getting and may involve positive and negative events that caused spikes in their popularity.

Let’s get started.

Health Insurance Company Popularity by State
Health Insurance Company Popularity by State
We first started by scoring the five health insurance companies based on their popularity by state.
This helps us establish a baseline to compare trendlines against to see popularity increases and decreases.
Further down we’ll visualize these popularity scores with charts.
StateUnited Health GroupAnthemAetnaCignaHumana
Alabama1215172630
Alaska5868145
Arizona1210293415
Arkansas1112232232
California74724166
Colorado829193212
Connecticut62141293
Delaware89532010
District of Columbia101642248
Florida106272235
Georgia718262128
Hawaii1919221525
Idaho1118341918
Illinois1014342319
Indiana558111016
Iowa2115291421
Kansas1110352024
Kentucky23310550
Louisiana136241443
Maine44728156
Maryland121238308
Massachussets1117342810
Michigan1116331822
Minnesota4411151614
Mississippi129192139
Missouri1028222515
Montana715252627
Nebraska1411451515
Nevada1432251415
New Hampshire74613277
New Jersey11953225
New Mexico2111212324
New York151242247
North Carolina1313292619
North Dakota1015322023
Ohio740251117
Oklahoma109352224
Oregon1218312613
Pennsylvania8953219
Rhode Island221429269
South Carolina1012252528
South Dakota916222429
Tennessee910193725
Texas108372421
Utah1013352715
Vermont716234311
Virginia54425179
Washington1215392113
West Virginia617351428
Wisconsin1528151032
Wyoming813185011
Health Insurance Company Popularity by State
Health Insurance Company Popularity by State

Health Insurance Company Popularity Nationwide

This section contains illustrations of the popularity of health insurance providers by state. The color of each state represents the most popular health insurance company for that state.

UnitedHealth Group
Anthem
Aetna
Cigna
Humana
most popular health insurance companies
Health Insurance Company Popularity by State

Health Insurance Companies Popularity by State

Darker = more popular.
We can also dig deeper to see more how popular each health insurance company was within each individual state.
Each map shows which states the insurance companies are most popular in.

Click any map to enlarge.

Aetna’s Popularity

Aetna health insurance company popularity by state

Most Popular In:

  • Alaska
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • New Jersey
  • Delaware

Least Popular In:

  • Kentucky
  • Indiana
  • New Hampshire
  • Wisconsin
  • Minnesota

Anthem’s Popularity

Anthem health insurance company popularity by state

Most Popular In:

  • Indiana
  • Maine
  • New Hampshire
  • California
  • Virginia

Least Popular In:

  • Louisiana
  • Florida
  • Texas
  • Alaska
  • Oklahoma

Cigna’s Popularity

Cigna health insurance company popularity by state

Most Popular In:

  • Wyoming
  • Vermont
  • Tennessee
  • Arizona
  • Colorado

Least Popular In:

  • Kentucky
  • Indiana
  • Wisconsin
  • Ohio
  • Alaska

Humana’s Popularity

Humana health insurance company popularity by state

Most Popular In:

  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Mississippi
  • Florida
  • Wisconsin

Least Popular In:

  • Connecticut
  • Alaska
  • New Jersey
  • California
  • Maine

United’s Popularity

United Health health insurance company popularity by state

Most Popular In:

  • Minnesota
  • Iowa
  • Rhode Island
  • New MExico
  • Hawaii

Least Popular In:

  • Kentucky
  • Alaska
  • Maine
  • Virginia
  • Indiana
Obamacare’s Impact on Health Insurance Companies

Obamacare’s Impact on Health Insurance Companies

We were curious how the popularity of these health insurance companies were impacted by Obamacare,
so we reviewed their trendlines back to 2010. Here are the overall trendlines of the five featured health insurance companies.

Obamacare trendline of ALL health insurance companies

health insurance companies

Gold = Aetna health insurance company

Red = Anthem health insurance company

Green = Cigna health insurance company

Purple = Humana health insurance company

Blue = United Health health insurance company

Obamacare’s Impact on Health Insurance Companies

Obamacare trendline of INDIVIDUAL health insurance companies

We can also look more granularly at the trendlines of the individual health insurance companies.

Note – the points on these trendlines are relative to the highest popularity in the graph (popularity by Anthem on February 1-7 2015).
Hence, the highest point is at a score of 100 while a provider with a score of 50 is half as popular as the overall peak point in the graph.

Pre- and Post-Obamacare impact

While it’s nice to look at the overall trendline of the last decade or two, we also wanted to look directly at the “before and after” of Obamacare to see if the trajectories took any obvious changes after the Affordable Healthcare Act was introduced.

For example, you’ll see down below that Anthem health insurance had noticeable growth before Obamacare, but that trendline has since flattened after the introduction of the Affordable Healthcare Act.

Results

Results

We assigned a Growth Score to individual providers based on the slope of the movement of their relative popularity. The Growth Score is equivalent to slope*1000. A positive Growth Score corresponds to growing popularity.

Growth score of all five featured health insurance companies, in order of most growth to least:

  • Cigna 14.12
  • United Health 5.32
  • Anthem -1.92
  • Aetna -4.64
  • Humana -34.92
health insurance company results

Conclusion

  • Anthem, Aetna, and UHG all have stable scores, but with a growth score of -34.92.
  • Humana is drastically decreasing in internet popularity. If the trend continues, Humana will lose 0.034918018 in relative popularity score each month.
  • Ultimately, Cigna has achieved the most growth with a score of 14.12, making it the most popular health insurance company of all the covered providers, and by a large margin.

What do you think?

Share your comments below.

Comments

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Health Insurance Companies: Better or Worse after Obamacare?

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