Health Insurers Suddenly Want In on ObamaCare

Health insurance companies suddenly want in on the ObamaCare action.

With a difficult launch year out of the way, insurers are seeing a moneymaking opportunity in the federal healthcare program and are lining up to offer plans on the ObamaCare exchanges in 2015.

In the 10 states where data is available, at least 27 new insurers have indicated they will offer plans on the marketplaces in 2015. Each additional carrier will expand the number of plans sold on the exchanges, since none of the carriers already offering plans have indicated they will drop out.

The surge in participation is being touted by the White House, and indicates that many of the ObamaCare exchanges are taking root despite the broader unpopularity of the law and opposition from Republicans on Capitol Hill.

Healthcare experts, who had long predicted that more insurers would join ObamaCare in the second year, say major players in the industry can’t afford to stay on the sidelines after more than 8 million people signed up for coverage in 2014.

“This is a very positive sign for the exchanges,” said Avalere Health President and CEO Dan Mendelson. “Companies that made a heavy initial investment, like Wellpoint, are staying in, and their more cautious competitors, like UnitedHealthcare, are now entering.”

More competition on the exchanges could put downward pressure on prices and drive down the benchmark price for premium subsidies.

The trend of insurers joining the exchanges is happening in regions across the United States.