Health care

1,332 counties will only have one health insurer on ObamaCare exchange in 2018

Next year, there will be 1,332 counties in the United States that will only have one health insurer operating on the Obamacare exchanges, according to recent data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

The agency has been looking at health insurer announcements and compiling data to see which counties will have either one or no Obamacare insurers operating in 2018. Roughly a month ago, the agency projected that 1,300 counties would have only one insurer operating next year.

The agency also previously reported there were 49 counties left with no insurer operating next year, but recent data finds that the number has declined to 40 counties.

"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 said.

In addition, the report finds that average premiums have increased by 21.6 percent between 2016 and 2017 while carrier participation has declined by 31.2 percent since 2015.

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