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Number of Insurers in Health Marketplace May Be Little Changed

By Kerry Young, CQ Roll Call

October 30, 2015 -- A snapshot of plans to be offered on the federal health insurance marketplace next year indicates that the number of participating companies and organizations has remained fairly stable, according to a new analysis by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

The report showed that the number of organizations that plan to offer insurance in many states through the federal marketplace would be little changed.

On average, consumers will be able to choose plans offered by five different insurance companies, the same as last year. Consumers will have 47 different health insurance marketplace plan options on average in 2016, down from 55 in 2015, according to the new analysis. Those plans include a variety of different coverage levels. 

One of the states with the biggest gains was Ohio, where two new issuers would boost the total number of marketplace plans to 17 for 2016. In Arizona, there may be nine issuers of insurance in the marketplace next year, down from 12 this year, HHS said in the report. Five insurance issuers opted not to sell in Arizona through the marketplace next year, but two new ones are entering the market.

In roughly a third of states using the federal site, no net change was predicted.

The cost of the average monthly premium for the second-lowest cost silver plan, one of the most widely used options, is rising by 7.5 percent next year.

The premium for a silver plan available to people who already are in a silver plan will cost $359 per month on average before any tax credit subsidies are applied.

HHS evaluated plan information for 37 states using the platform, including data from files dating to October 19 for the 2016 coverage year.

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