CMS Announces Reduced Marketplace Premiums for 2020  

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On October 22, 2019, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that average premiums for marketplace plans will be 4 percent lower in 2020 and that 20 percent more insurers are participating in the Federal Health Insurance Exchange platform compared to the previous year. The total number of participating insurers is now 175, compared to 132 in 2018. Additionally, six states have experienced double-digit reductions in premiums, which includes Delaware, Nebraska, North Dakota, Montana, Oklahoma, and Utah. However, the announcement also calls attention to the fact that exchange plans are still unaffordable for many Americans who are not receiving subsidies to help them defray the cost of coverage: 2.5 million people who were not receiving premium subsidies left the individual market between 2016 and 2018.

The announcement also declares that the administration will continue exploring ways to increase the coverage options available to consumers, which includes expanding the availability of short-term plans and association health plans and allowing employers to fund health plan premiums through health reimbursement arrangements.

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