Filed Under:Markets, Employee Benefits

Avalere sizes up exchange plan menus

Avalere found some states with skimpy offerings.
Avalere found some states with skimpy offerings.

Exchange shoppers in several states will have plenty of plans to choose from – but consumers in 16 states won’t have much choice at all.

Analysts at Avalere Health have created a map illustrating individual public exchange plan competition levels in a report based on HealthCare.gov Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act exchange plan data.

  • In 15 states, the exchanges will offer seven or more issuers.
  • In 16 states, the exchanges will offer three or fewer issuers.
  • In 19 states and the District of Columbia -- the market with the exchange program that will cover members of Congress -- the exchanges have attracted four to six issuers.

The coverage deserts include some low-population states, such as Alaska, the Dakotas and Wyoming.

They also include some states with notoriously tough regulatory climates, such as New Jersey, and all New England states but Massachusetts.

Several of the other three coverage deserts are states with a reputation for having a high percentage of residents with serious health problems.

The Avalere analysts also looked at how the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has done at creating competitive marketplaces in the states in which it’s in charge of providing exchange services.

A Blue Cross or Blue carrier is offering the “second lowest cost silver plan” in eight of the 13 federally run exchange states with the highest expected exchange enrollment.

Humana, Aetna, or a local or region plan has the second lowest cost silver plan in four of the 13 states, and a Medicaid-Medicare Advantage issuer has the second lowest cost silver plan in the thirteenth.

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Originally published on BenefitsPro. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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