According to a new study by the National Bureau of Economic Research, few health insurance benefits providers participated in the federal and state marketplaces, resulting in higher prices than there otherwise would have been.
The paper examined how many insurers were involved in the exchanges and which state marketplaces they offered policies in. The economists who conducted the study ran numerous simulations of what the marketplaces may have looked like if more or fewer insurers had plans in the exchanges. What they found is if one insurer that was in reality involved in just a couple exchanges had been in each marketplace, premiums would have been 5.4 percent less for silver plans.
If more insurers would have had plans on the exchanges this past year, the study concluded costs would have been lower and the federal government would have saved $1.7 billion in subsidies. According to Kaiser Health News, more insurers said they would be involved in the marketplaces or would expand their offerings during the next open enrollment period. For public workers, this means that they may actually see lower prices on health insurance benefits this coming enrollment period.