Map: Obamacare Guts Competition for Individual Coverage

A recent Heritage analysis found significantly less insurer competition in the Obamacare exchanges relative to the prior individual health insurance market.

Heritage Foundation senior fellow Ed Haislmaier examined insurer participation in the exchanges and found that nationally there will be “29 percent less insurer competition in the exchanges relative to the current market. Seven states will have the same level of competition in both markets, and five states will have more carriers offering exchange coverage than now offer individual coverage. In the remaining 38 states and the District of Columbia, fewer insurers will offer coverage in their exchanges relative to the number that currently offer individual-market coverage.”

Furthermore, Haislmaier’s research found that there will be less competition in the exchanges despite the creation of 25 new insurers—23 of which are so-called co-op insurers funded by federal grants and loans under a program created by Obamacare.

In addition, Haislmaier found that there is only one existing carrier that is expanding into a new market in response to Obamacare. Haislmaier concludes that “Obamacare’s provisions for expanding coverage by organizing state-based exchanges, subsidizing exchange coverage, and imposing an individual mandate to buy coverage, have so far had virtually no effect on inducing either the creation of new health insurers or the expansion of existing health insurers into new markets where they previously did not offer plans.”

Overall, the President’s health care law does not foster competition; in fact, nationally, it has decreased it. This is yet another reason why this unworkable and unaffordable law is bad policy for America.


Louis Phillips is currently a member of the Young Leaders Program at The Heritage Foundation. For more information on interning at Heritage, please click here.