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CMS releases map showing 47 counties without an insurer in the exchange market

At least 35,000 active exchange participants live in the counties projected to be without coverage in 2018, CMS says.

Susan Morse, Senior Editor

A federal map of payer participation in the the health insurance exchanges shows 47 counties nationwide are projected to have no insurers for 2018 and that as many as 1,200 counties - nearly 40 percent  nationwide – could have only one issuer, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

The deadline for insurers to submit qualified health plans for the federally-facilitated exchanges is Wednesday, June 21.

[Also: Two out of 12 million haven't paid ACA premiums, CMS says]

Currently, at least 35,000 active exchange participants live in the counties projected to be without coverage in 2018, and roughly 2.4 million are projected to have one issuer, CMS said.

CMS said the number of consumers with no coverage choices is expected to rise.

[Also: Uncertainty over insurance marketplaces grows as payers exit ACA exchanges]

CMS released a county-level map of 2018 projected health insurance exchange participation based on public announcements through June 9.

The map shows at least 22 states in green, meaning they have at least two carriers and some have three. Another estimated states in yellow have one carrier. The rest are divided between one or more carriers, with three states - Missouri, Ohio, and Washington - having a total 47 counties with zero carriers. 

Plan options are down from last year and, in some areas, Americans will have no coverage options on the exchanges, based on the current data, CMS said.

[Also: HHS Secretary Tom Price won't commit to ACA insurer payments]

"This is yet another failing report card for the exchanges," said CMS Administrator Seema Verma. "CMS is working with state departments of insurance and issuers to find ways to provide relief and help restore access to healthcare plans, but our actions are by no means a long-term solution to the problems we're seeing with the Insurance Exchanges."  

The data is expected to fluctuate as issuers continue to make announcements on exiting or entering specific states and counties.


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