Health Exchange Options To Vary Significantly by State, Experts Say
The number of health plans available to U.S. residents through the Affordable Care Act's health insurance exchanges will vary sharply by state, according to experts, the New York Times reports.
Insurance Landscape Will Be Varied
According to the Times, the insurance landscape "will be highly varied," despite assurances from the Obama administration that the majority of residents will be able to select from about five insurer options. For example, residents of California, Colorado and Maryland are expected be able to choose from a wide array of insurers. In California, 13 insurers are expected to offer plans through the state's exchange.
Meanwhile, residents of other states -- particularly those slow to accept the ACA -- might only have a choice between an already-dominant Blue Cross plan or a new insurer with no proven track record. For example, as of now, Maine residents will choose between the state's dominant carrier -- Anthem Blue Cross -- or Maine Community Health Options.
Waiting Game on Markets, Competition, Experts Say
The Times reports that insurers already active on the individual market are most likely to offer plans in the exchanges. Meanwhile, several large insurers that primarily market employer-based coverage are not expected to sell plans via the exchanges.
Ana Gupte -- health insurance analyst for Dowling & Partners Securities -- said, "If you're not going to protect your position, you would more likely take a cautious, wait-and-see-stand" to determine the viability of the exchanges.
According to Joel Farran, an executive at Health Care Service Corporation, "We're looking at three to five years" for the exchange markets to take shape (Abelson, New York Times, 6/16).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.