HHS: marketplaces open new insurance options for consumers
(HealthDay)—Health Insurance Marketplaces, due to be introduced in October 2013, will increase the coverage options for many consumers, according to a memo released by the U.S. Department of Human & Health Services.
In October 2013, open enrollment will begin for coverage from the Health Insurance Marketplace (Exchanges). Each state will have an Exchange, some of which will be run solely by the state, others by the HHS, and some will be run by the state and HHS together.
Currently, consumers in the individual insurance market have limited options, with a few insurers covering most of the individual market; in 46 states, more than half of all enrollees are covered by two insurers. Starting in 2014, individuals will be able to switch plans and shop for coverage that fits their budget and needs. Most states will have new health insurance choices made available through the Marketplace, with new entrants attracted by insurance reforms coupled with premium tax credits and premium stabilization programs. Based on publicly released data from 19 states with HHS-run Marketplaces and from state-run Marketplaces, about 90 percent of target enrollees will have five or more different insurance company choices. To date, more than 120 issuers have applied to offer qualified health plans in the HHS-run Marketplace.
According to the HHS memo, "the Marketplace is attracting new insurance choices and increasing competition for consumers, especially in states where it is really needed."