Prior to the Affordable Care Act, most states’ markets for individual health insurance were dominated by one or two insurer carriers and health plans. A principal goal of the Affordable Care Act is to encourage more carriers to compete in the new marketplaces and to offer plans that provide greater value to consumers.
These maps show the total numbers of carriers and plans in the premium-rating areas of six states: Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Maryland, Montana, and Texas. Use the “basemaps” tab to get a sense of the terrain of the region and click on the “states” tab to zoom into a particular state. By clicking on the different map layers, you can view the numbers of carriers and plans with data on population and per capita income. The maps also indicate the numbers of carriers and plans available in the different counties within premium rating areas when an area contains more than one county.
As the maps show, the choices people have in the marketplaces depend not only on which state they live in but where within a state they live.
Source: K. Swartz, M.A. Hall, and T. S. Jost, How Insurers Competed in the Affordable Care Act’s First Year
, The Commonwealth Fund, June 2015.
Data Sources: The data for the numbers of carriers and plans offered in the marketplaces in 2014 and presented in the six states’ premium rating areas were compiled and analyzed by Katherine Swartz, who gratefully acknowledges the generosity of Jonathan Wu of ValuePenguin
. Carrier and plan data also were obtained from the Department of Health and Human Services’ website
County population and per capita income data were obtained from the ESRI Demographic Data for 2013 (compiled from publicly available Census data).