ObamaCare Signups Return With More Plans but Concerns About Software, Cost, Care Options

The ObamaCare exchanges that opened for business last fall to disastrous consequence are expected to be largely improved with better technology and more insurance plans when they re-open next month, but critics are still raising concerns about consumer costs and choices.

The Department of Health and Human Services said in a preliminary report released Sept. 23 that the number of insurers has increased by 25 percent, which officials argue should lower premium costs through competition, in addition to offering customers more choices.

“When consumers have more choices, we all benefit,” agency Director Sylvia Burwell said upon release of the progress report. “In terms of affordability, access and quality, (the) news is very encouraging. It’s a real sign the Affordable Care Act is working.”

The eight-page report shows that Americans when they start shopping Nov. 15 at the 36 federally-facilitated marketplaces can now choose from 248 qualified health plans, compared to 191 last year. Sixty-seven new insurers joined the exchanges, but 10 withdrew for a net increase of 57.