HCFO-Funded Work Informs Senate Hearing on Health Insurance Consolidation and Consumers

Publication Date: 
September 28, 2015

In response to proposed mergers among major health insurance companies as well as a changing health care landscape under the Affordable Care Act, both the House and the Senate are holding a series of hearings to examine competition in the health care market. At the recent Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on health insurance consolidation and its impact on consumers, multiple testimonies cited HCFO-funded work. Glenn Melnick’s HCFO-funded study demonstrated that insurance mergers have led to lower prices paid to providers.  Bradley Herring and Erin Trish’s HCFO-funded study extended Melnick’s work and found that lower prices paid to providers were not passed on to consumers in the form of lower premiums. Bob Berenson’s HCFO-funded study, which assessed the cost containment performance of Medicare Advantage plans compared to traditional Medicare, has implications for the premiums beneficiaries might pay in a more concentrated market.