The health insurance Marketplace is entering the second year of operation, and more health insurance companies are entering. This is great news for consumers, as increased competition in the Marketplace could help to keep costs down. According to a report from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the number of new entrants in the Marketplace is projected to be more than five times the number of insurers exiting the Marketplace.
Backgound on the Report
The HHS report analyzed preliminary data for 44 states, including 36 Federally-facilitated Marketplace (FFM) states and eight State-based Marketplace (SBM) states. Based on the preliminary data, 36 of the 44 states will have at least one new insurance company entering the Marketplace.
Key Findings from the Report
In fact, four of the 36 states in the FFM will have at least twice the number of insurers as they had in 2014. Indiana, Missouri, New Hampshire, and West Virginia will all see double the insurance companies offering Marketplace plans this year. California is the only state among the 44 states analyzed that will see a decrease in the number of insurers. Californians will only have ten insurers to choose from in 2015, as opposed to 12 in 2014.
There will be 63 more insurers offering Marketplace plans for 2015 than there were in 2014. According to the HHS report, this represents a 25 percent increase in the total number of Marketplace insurers between 2014 and 2015.
There were only 191 insurers offering plans in the states with a FFM Marketplace in 2014. Preliminary data from the issuer rate filings to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services indicate that a total of 248 insurers will be offering Marketplace plans in those states in 2015.
Chart: Department of Health and Human Services
Just 61 insurers offered Marketplace plans in the eight SMB states in 2014. In 2015, this has increased to 67 insurers offering Marketplace plans. This represents a 10 percent increase in the number of insurers for these eight states’ Marketplaces.
The HHS report also points to the fact that “some of the nation’s largest insurers will be offering coverage for the first time in more than a dozen states, suggesting that the FFM and SBMs represent an increasingly attractive business opportunity.”
For example, Assurant Health will enter the public Marketplace in 16 states and United Healthcare is expanding their Marketplace presence from five states in 2014 to as many as 24 states in 2015. Aetna, Humana, and Cigna are also expanding Exchange offerings in 2015.
This is great news for consumers as it means more individual health plans to choose from and more competition in the Marketplace. This increased competition among insurers will help to keep rates down in 2015.
Click here to access the full report at hhs.gov.