ObamaCare insurer competition declining: study


Insurer competition in the ObamaCare marketplaces is declining, but three-quarters of enrollees still have a choice of two or more insurers, according to a new analysis.

The analysis from the Kaiser Family Foundation finds that the average number of insurers per state declined to 3.5 for 2018, down from 4.3 this year and 5.6 the year before.

The percentage of enrollees with only one insurer offering coverage, meaning they have no choice of insurers, rose from just 2 percent in 2016 to 21 percent in 2017 to 26 percent in 2018.

{mosads}Still, 75 percent of enrollees have two or more insurers to choose from in 2018, and 48 percent have three or more insurers.

Despite fears that some counties could end up with no insurers, the study found that no counties were without at least one insurer.

Rural, less populated counties tend to be the ones with fewer insurance options. A majority of counties, 52 percent, have just one insurer for 2018, but that makes up 26 percent of enrollees.

The Kaiser Family Foundation study notes that competition is declining even though insurers’ finances are stabilizing.

Republicans hold up counties with only one insurer offering ObamaCare coverage as a sign of the health law’s failings. Democrats this year have pointed to actions from the Trump administration, like cutting off key ObamaCare payments, as increasing uncertainty for insurers and destabilizing markets.   


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