Marketplace Price Competition in 2014 and 2015

A patient pays cash for services in a medical office.

Some insurers keep premiums for marketplace plans aggressively low in order to remain competitive and to attract the still growing number of people buying insurance through the marketplaces.

Researchers examined a wide array of plan data comparing the premium prices of the lowest cost silver plan—the most popular of marketplace options—by insurer across 30 states for 2014 and 2015.

The Issue

For the first two years of the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), premiums in insurance marketplaces were lower than anticipated in many areas.

Key Findings

  • National insurers have entered many more markets in the second year of the ACA, but they continue to reflect an aversion to risk by having higher than average premiums.

  • Many Blue Cross Blue Shield insurers have kept premiums comparatively low with small increases from year to year.


Incentives remain for insurers to offer one of the two lowest-cost silver plans. So while some will request large premium increases, others will most likely keep prices low to attract the still growing number of people buying insurance through the marketplaces.

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