White House says health law already boosting competition

More than 100 insurance plans have asked to sell their products through ObamaCare's new insurance exchanges — a development the White House touted Thursday as evidence people will have a range of plans to choose from once the healthcare law is fully implemented. 

In states where the federal government will run the exchanges, about 90 percent of "target enrollees" will have at least five insurance companies to choose from, the White House said in a memo.

Exchanges are primarily for people who buy insurance on their own, rather than getting it through an employer. 

Currently in most states, more than 50 percent of the entire individual market is covered by just one company.

The White House said the Affordable Care Act is on track to change that, bringing more competition to states that are currently dominated by one or two companies and thus giving consumers more options to choose from.

So far, 120 insurance plans have applied to sell their products through the federally run exchange, the White House said. 

Insurance companies are entering the individual market for the first time in 75 percent of the states with federally run exchanges, according to the White House memo.

The White House is facing a steep climb as it tries to turn around public opinion and encourage people to sign up for new coverage options, with full implementation just months away. 

States have the option to run their own exchanges or defer to the federal government. 

Seventeen states and Washington, D.C., opted to run their own marketplaces, leaving the federal government to handle all or part of the job in the remaining 33 states.