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ICYMI: New Report Highlights Competition Delivers Lower Premiums for Americans in the Individual Market


Published Apr 28, 2022 • by AHIP

The Affordable Care Act’s health insurance marketplaces are a source of high-quality, affordable coverage for tens of millions of Americans. A new report released by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation found that health insurance provider participation in the individual market continues to grow - and this competition drives down premiums for consumers.

  • Average benchmark premiums continue to decrease year over year: The report shows a 3.2% decrease in 2020, a 1.7% decrease in 2021, and 3.2% decrease in 2022.

  • Competition among health insurance providers is associated with these lower premiums: Marketplaces with 5 or more health insurance providers had a lower average cost of $189.50 per month than markets with only one health insurance provider.

  • Health insurance provider participation is increasing: In the 25 states included in the report, the number of participating health insurance providers increased from 198 to 288 from 2020-2022.

The 2021 American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) subsidies were key to more people than ever enrolling in individual market coverage. According to the Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) preliminary snapshot reports, 14.5 million Americans enrolled in individual market coverage during the 2022 Open Enrollment Period. New research from Avalere Health conducted on behalf of AHIP found that Americans buying their own health coverage will face large increases in the consumer share of premium costs in 2023 if the temporary subsidies are not expanded beyond 2022.

Health insurance providers are committed to ensuring that all Americans have access to high-quality, affordable health coverage. Creating and maintaining stable individual marketplaces is critical to nurturing competition and providing affordable access to high-value coverage to hardworking American families. AHIP will continue to support policies that improve affordability and access through a competitive marketplace.