Report says Wisconsin residents will have insurance choices with exchanges

The vast majority of Wisconsin residents will have a range of choices for health care insurance through the exchanges that will be created by the Affordable Care Act, according to a new report issued today by Citizen Action of Wisconsin.

“The Wisconsin Health Coverage Option Report” tracks the number of insurance companies competing for consumers’ business in all 72 counties.

The report reveals the number of health insurance choices for consumers in each Wisconsin county in the new marketplace created by the Affordable Care Act. Enrollment in the exchanges will begin Oct. 1.

The Wisconsin Office of the Insurance Commissioner released a list of insurance providers that will participate in the new marketplace earlier this month, but did not release information on the geographic reach of each plan. The new report fills that gap, making it possible to evaluate the amount of choice consumers will have in every region of Wisconsin.

The report finds a wide selection of insurers available for the vast majority of the Wisconsin public, which has positive ramifications for cost, access and availability. All of Wisconsin citizens will have access to at least 2 insurance companies to choose from on the competitive health marketplace, and multiple plan options. According to the report, 98.9 percent of Wisconsin citizens will have three or more insurance companies to choose from, and 68.6 percent will have four or more insurer choices available.

“The array of options for the vast majority of Wisconsin citizens is good news for those concerned about quality affordable healthcare for all,” said Kevin Kane, author of the report. “The results show we as a democracy can step in and fix a broken insurance market. We can provide greater opportunity, freedom and choice to our citizens; as well as offer protections to consumers from the threat of pre-existing condition discrimination and other insurance abuses.”

The level of market competition will be achieved even without United Healthcare and Humana, both of which declined to participate in the new marketplace in 2014 but have both announced intentions to join in 2015, according to the report.

The full report can be downloaded here.

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