A recent report from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) says consumers will have more choices in the Marketplace during the 2015 open enrollment period that begins November 15.
The report, dated Sept. 23, 2014, notes a net increase of 25 percent in the number of issuers offering Marketplace coverage in 2015. At the national level, 77 new issuers will offer Marketplace coverage; in Florida, one insurer is exiting the Marketplace, while four are entering, resulting in a net gain of three insurers.
The report examines preliminary data from 44 states: 36 that rely on the federally operated Marketplace plus eight that operate their own Marketplaces. Some of the report’s specific findings include:
- Among the 44 states in the report, 77 issuers will be newly offering coverage in 2015.
- Of these states, 36 will have at least one new issuer next year.
- The 36 federal Marketplace states alone will have 57 more issuers in 2015—a 30 percent net increase over 2014.
- In four of these states, the number of participating issuers will be at least double the current number.
- In the eight states that have their own Marketplaces, a total of six more issuers will be participating next year, a 10 percent net increase.
- Some of the nation’s largest insurance companies will be offering coverage in more than a dozen new states, joining the hundreds of insurance companies already participating in the Marketplace.
The higher number of insurers doesn’t necessarily translate to a higher number of plans available to consumers. In some individual counties, if 2014 insurers either leave the market or reduce the number of plans available, then consumer choice may actually decrease.
View the full report.