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New study on dwindling exchange options raises questions over ACA sustainability

BERLIN, GERMANY - SEPTEMBER 05:  A doctor speaks with a patient about her high blood pressure, or hypertension, on September 5, 2012 in Berlin, Germany. Doctors in the country are demanding higher payments from health insurance companies (Krankenkassen). Over 20 doctors' associations are expected to hold a vote this week over possible strikes and temporary closings of their practices if assurances that a requested additional annual increase of 3.5 billion euros (4,390,475,550 USD) in payments are not provided. The Kassenaerztlichen Bundesvereinigung (KBV), the National Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians, unexpectedly broke off talks with the health insurance companies on Monday.  (Photo by Adam Berry/Getty Images)
Adam Berry/Getty Images
2012: A doctor speaks with a patient. A new analysis from Kaiser Family Foundation found that starting in 2017, about a third of U.S. counties will only have one insurance carrier in operation.

A new analysis from Kaiser Family Foundation found that starting in 2017, about a third of U.S. counties will only have one insurance carrier in operation, raising questions over consumer choice, and how a lack of competition will impact how much consumers will pay for health insurance.

A new analysis from Kaiser Family Foundation found that starting in 2017, about a third of U.S. counties will only have one insurance carrier in operation, raising questions over consumer choice, and how a lack of competition will impact how much consumers will pay for health insurance.

The analysis also found that in another 31 percent of U.S. counties, only two insurance carrier options would be available. 

California counties are not impacted by this trend. The study found that 47 percent of counties in the state would have 2 insurers in 2017, and the remaining 53 percent would have 3 or more insurers.

How does shrinking carrier options impact the Affordable Care Act? What could be done to fix the problem? Despite the plethora of insurance carrier options California enjoy, will the state still be impacted by ACA-related instability in other parts of the nation?

Guests:         

Shana Charles, assistant professor in the department of health sciences at Cal State Fullerton

Avik Roy, opinion editor at Forbes, and former policy advisor to Marco Rubio, Rick Perry and Mitt Romney

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