The launch of the Obamacare exchanges may not bring as much choice and competition for health insurance buyers as advertised.
“Competition and consumer choice are actually making insurance affordable,” President Barack Obama crowed recently. (RELATED: Congresswoman: Obamacare creating health insurance monopolies)
But a study released last Friday by the health-care reporting company HealthPocket tallied up the Department of Health and Human Services’ numbers and found that the number of plans available in states with federally-run exchanges comes up to just a third of the total the private market has been able to establish.
Before Obamacare, Americans in those 36 states could choose from over 4,200 options that best suit their health-care needs.
The young and healthy could stick with catastrophic, bare-bones plans; sicker consumers can opt for low-deductible plans that keep their out-of-pocket costs down; and some of the more efficiency-minded could decide to go insurance-less and pay out-of-pocket for whatever care they need. But Obamacare is changing all that.
The number of options available in Obamacare exchanges will come in 1,400, far less than what was already available.
On average, Obamacare exchanges run by the feds will see an average 41 health insurance plans per state. But the pre-Obamacare market provided 117 health care plans per state on average.
Obamacare policies pushed some health-care companies out of states entirely. Medical Mutual of Ohio left Georgia and South Carolina because Obamacare regulations proved too complex for the business, which will be focusing just on its home state of Ohio. A spokesman announced that former Medical Mutual patients will be shifted to United Healthcare instead.
In New Jersey, a Basic & Essential plan that provides coverage for cheap will be cut out entirely as a result of new Obamacare rules — leaving 106,000 New Jerseyans without a health care plan and forcing them to search for something new.
This comes on the heels of reports that consumers buying health insurance through the exchanges may in many cases face higher premiums.
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