Most Americans who signed up for coverage on the federally run health insurance marketplaces had more choice of health plans in 2015 compared with the previous year, and the increased competition helped hold down the growth in premiums, according to a report released Thursday by federal officials at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (Source: “HHS: More competition on insurance exchanges curbed premium rise,” Washington Post, July 30, 2015).
In 2015, 86 percent of consumers could choose from plans offered by at least three insurers, up from 70 percent in 2014. Premiums increased an average of just 2 percent for one of the most popular types of plans between 2014 and 2015.
The new report does not provide any information about what experts and many consumers are most interested in knowing going forward: the final premium increases for 2016. Those figures are likely to be released later this summer.