More carriers are jumping on board to join the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act’s exchanges (PPACA).
Nearly 80 new carriers will participate in PPACA’s marketplace this year, increasing the number of participating carriers by 25 percent, federal health officials said this week. In total, 77 new carriers will offer coverage when open enrollment for PPACA begins Nov. 15.
HHS Secretary Sylvia Burwell praised the news saying it’s a real sign that PPACA is working.
“When consumers have more choices, we all benefit,” Burwell said in a statement. “In terms of affordability, access and quality, today’s news is very encouraging.”
The 77 new carriers will be joining those that sell plans in 43 states and the District of Columbia where data about insurance participation was available, HHS said.
HealthCare.gov will get the bulk of the new carriers: 57 carriers will join the federal exchange, bringing to the total up to 248 carriers, a 30 percent increase. Meanwhile, the eight state-based exchanges where data is already available will have a total of six more carriers in 2015, a 10 percent net increase over this year.
HHS noted that four states out of the 36 on HealthCare.gov — Indiana, Missouri, New Hampshire and West Virginia — will at least double the number of insurers that sold plans there this year. And 36 states nationally will get at least one new carrier.
HHS didn’t have data for Hawaii, Massachusetts, Nevada, Oregon, Vermont, Kentucky and Minnesota, who last week lost PreferredOne, the carrier that sold the majority of the health plans on their exchange.
Last year, a number of major carriers — including UnitedHealth, the nation’s largest carrier — proceeded with caution onto the exchanges during its first year, either limiting participation or not participating at all, for fear the earliest enrollees would be sicker.