Obamacare Led to Increased Competition

USA Today: “Competition among insurers offering plans on the federal health care exchange rose between last year and this year, tamping down growth in premiums, says a federal report released Thursday.”

“The report says 86% of people eligible for qualified health plans on HealthCare.gov had access to at least three insurers this year, up from 70% in 2014. Nearly 60% of U.S. counties saw a net gain of at least one insurer, 8% saw a loss, and 33% saw their numbers unchanged, the report says.”

“Competition affected how much people paid for their plans, the report says, with premium growth between 2014 and 2015 for benchmark (second-lowest cost) silver plans 8.4 percentage points lower in counties that gained insurers than in other counties. In fact, a net gain of one insurer was associated with a 2.8 percentage point drop in the rate of benchmark premium growth.”

“The average growth rate in the benchmark premium was 2%, the report says.”

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