Politics & Government

Consumers will see more marketplace insurance offerings in at least 44 states

- Most consumers seeking marketplace health insurance will find a wider selection of plans next year, according to a new report from the Department of Health and Human Services.

In a speech at the Brookings Institution on Tuesday, HHS Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell said there'll be 25 percent more insurers offering coverage in 44 states served by the federal and state-based marketplaces.

Shoppers will find 57 more insurers - 248 compared to 191 this year - on the federal HealthCare.gov marketplace used in 36 states. That's a 30 percent increase over 2014.

Six additional new insurers will provide coverage next year on the eight state marketplaces where data is now available, bringing the total number of providers to 67.

Four states will see at least twice as many issuers next year: Indiana, Missouri, New Hampshire and West Virginia. California is the only state in the study to see a decline in providers, from 12 this year to ten next year.

Among states using the federal marketplace, Texas, Michigan and Ohio are projected to have the most insurers, with 16. Pennsylvania and Wisconsin are next with 15, followed by Florida with 14.

Ten insurers in the federal marketplace are expected to withdraw their coverage offerings next year, while four insurers in state-based plans won't participate next year.

Burwell said increased participation by new insurers will help consumers.

"When consumers have more choices, we all benefit," Burwell said. "In terms of affordability, access and quality, today's news is very encouraging. It's a real sign that the Affordable Care Act is working."

Tuesday's report follows recent news that finds the health law meeting most of its' core goals despite near-constant political attacks from Republicans.

Last week, Medicare Administrator Marilyn Tavenner said 7.3 million of the 8.1 million who signed up for coverage this year actually paid their premiums.

Yesterday, HHS reported that 8 million people enrolled in Medicaid or CHIP coverage since open enrollment began in October 2013.

In her speech at Brookings, Burwell said the number of uninsured adults has fallen by 26 percent, or 10.3 million people from 2013.

"I firmly believe this is the key measure we should all be looking at, because it represents historic progress on an issue that has eluded our country for more than a century," Burwell said during her speech.

To read the HHS report, go to 1.usa.gov/1vd1uF9