Health Insurance Marketplaces Likely to Offer More Choices for Individuals

The Obama administration is reporting that people purchasing insurance in the individual market will have more insurance options when the private health insurance marketplaces begin operating later this year. Consumers in every state will have access to a marketplace, but each state can choose how it will operate. In 2014, 17 states (including the District of Columbia), will fully run their own marketplace. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will fully run a marketplace in 19 states. In 15 states, HHS will work with the state to run a Marketplace.

HHS reports that 120 insurance companies have applied to offer insurance in the federally run marketplaces.  There are also 200 applications for proposed plans to operate in multiple states.  In reviewing the current health insurance landscape, the administration found that in 29 states more than 50% of all people with individual insurance are covered by one insurer.   It is hoped that the increased competition will help keep with the costs down.  HHS will be releasing premium information in September, once negotiations with the plans are completed.  The marketplaces will begin enrolling people in October with coverage beginning in January, 2014.

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