That threat may be overstated, but more complete information is coming, according to research by the Kaiser Family Foundation. At the precipice of the June 21 deadline for insurers to submit rates for the marketplace, the foundation released a map that will continue to track counties at risk of having no health insurers that offer plans in the 2018 marketplace.
To date, only 44 counties are at risk of having no marketplace insurers, representing 31,268 estimated enrollees, according to a foundation news release. Those counties are a mix of metropolitan and rural counties throughout Ohio (from which insurer Anthem Inc. recently withdrew) and western Missouri, plus a rural county in southern Washington.
If a county has no marketplace insurer, consumers would not be able to purchase plans subsidized by federal tax credits and cost-sharing reductions. "Tax credits make coverage more affordable throughout the year by lowering consumers’ monthly premium costs; cost-sharing reductions help lower out-of-pocket costs," Kaiser explains. "In 2017, 8.7 million people (84 percent of all marketplace enrollees) received tax credits to cover a share of their premium and 5.9 million people (57 percent of all marketplace enrollees) received cost-sharing reductions."