Since the law was first passed in 2010, Republicans have predicted the death of the health insurance industry in the U.S., saying that the “government takeover” of healthcare was going to remove all profitability from the business causing skyrocketing premiums and a decline in the number of insurance providers.
The new report looking at the available data found that there will be a 25 percent increase in the number of providers participating in the federal and state exchanges for 2015. Overall, there will be an increase from 191 providers to 248 participating in the various exchanges next year.
These increases should not only afford more choices, but the increased competition has already been shown to have a positive effect on premiums with the lowest premiums being found in those markets where there are more participating insurers.
UnitedHealth Group, one of the largest providers in the country, did not take part at all in the exchanges this year, preferring to sit on the sidelines and see how the system performed before committing themselves to the move. In 2015 the company will offer policies through the exchanges in 20 states.
That was not the only prediction that failed to materialize. The skyrocketing premiums predicted once the law was fully implemented have not shown up for the party either. PricewaterhouseCoopers reported last month that the average increase for 2015 will be about 8.2 percent, similar to the increase in recent years and in many cases a smaller increase.
Among the insurers who are leaving the marketplaces in 2015, six of them are subsidiaries whose parent companies will continue to offer policies for sale on the exchanges. No state will see a net loss in the number of participating insurers — at worst they will see no change in the number of available options.
New York continues to lead in the number of participating companies with 17 followed by Colorado with 12, and California and Washington with 10 each.
Will the loss of this talking point mean the end of the clamor on the right to repeal the law? Probably not, but it should at least lessen its appeal as a campaign issue in the upcoming mid-term elections.
h/t: Huffington Post