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2021 Affordable Care Act Marketplace Insurer Trends

Insurance options in the ACA marketplace have increased since 2018

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Nov 30, 2021 – Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) insurers offer health plans on individual health insurance marketplaces. Under ACA since its inception, competition in the marketplace has varied. 

Health Affairs recently compiled data from the Kaiser Family Foundation and other sources to examine insurers’ participation in the ACA health insurance marketplace from 2016 to 2021. Their recently released report showed growth in the marketplace. 

Key Findings in the Health Insurance Marketplace

Insurer participation in the ACA health insurance marketplace reached an all-time low in 2018. Many think this was due to uncertainty during the rate-setting cycles low marketplace enrollment, and federal policy changes. The good news is that numbers are looking much better in 2021.

Research showed that the number of insurance options in the health insurance marketplace has increased since 2018. 1,968 counties have more insurers in 2021 than in 2018, whereas only 12 counties have fewer insurers. This is good as it shows growth in competition, which benefits consumers in the long run.

Additionally, counties with monopolist marketplace insurers—where only one insurer offers services—declined to 294 in 2021. That number is down from 1,616 in 2018, which shows great progress.

Overall, the increase in competition is great for consumers as it can lead to lower gross premiums in the ACA health insurance marketplace. 

To read the full report from Health Affairs, click here.

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