The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services posted an updated map illustrating the shocking fact that 1,332 counties across the country can expect to have only one insurer on the Obamacare Health Insurance Exchanges next year.
As many as 40 counties, most of them in Ohio and Nevada, will have zero insurance carriers willing to offer Obamacare in 2018.
Recent data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which has been monitoring health insurer announcements, shows that the number of counties with only one insurer continues to climb. Just one month ago, the number was 1,300.
However, the agency also previously reported there are 49 counties left with no operating insurer, but updated information shows that the number has since declined.
“The map currently shows that nationwide 40 counties are projected to have no issuers, meaning that Americans in these counties could be without coverage on the Exchanges in 2018,” the agency said. “It’s also projected that 1,332 counties—over 40 percent of counties nationwide—could only have one issuer in 2018. This could represent more than 2.3 million Exchange participants that will only have one choice and may not be able to receive the coverage they need.”
The agency also reported that between 2016 and 2017, average premiums have increased by 21.6 percent while carrier participation has declined by 31.2 percent since 2015.
Anthem Blue Cross-Blue Shield announced at the end of June that they would be dropping Obamacare coverage in Wisconsin, Ohio, and Indiana due to volatility and a deteriorating individual market.
“We continue to see a decline in issuer participation in the Health Insurance Exchanges leaving consumers with fewer and fewer insurance options,” said CMS Administrator Seema Verma. “I am deeply concerned about the crisis situation facing the individual market in many states across the nation.”
In response to this crisis, Sens. Bob Corker (R., Tenn.) and Lamar Alexander (R., Tenn.) have introduced legislation that would protect people from being penalized for not having insurance when there are no insurers operating on the exchanges in their areas.
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