Consumers and brokers struggle with less options for health insurance in Springfield, MO.
One of the many promises that was given by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), was to simply health insurance to make it easier for consumers to select and purchase a plan. Indeed, if you were to exclude the innumerable complications created by the introduction of premium tax credits, the law itself was very apt at this from a consumer standpoint and critiques would have a hard time arguing the Affordable Care Act’s effectiveness.
As with almost all regulation though, there are many consequences that take place once government intervention manipulates the natural flow of commerce. One of these consequences has led to an unforeseen and unwanted simplification in the form of fewer and fewer carriers competing in the market with each passing year.
Before the Affordable Care Act’s regulations changed the insurance landscape in 2014, there were more than 12 different insurance carriers which offered fully insured health insurance plans within Springfield, MO alone. By 2015, that number was reduced to 8 as a few carriers opted to no longer offer plans or sold off their company completely. In 2016, even fewer carriers will be offering health insurance plans in Springfield, MO as many are shutting their doors or merging with other carriers.
Assurant, which is a regional carrier in the Missouri area and stationed out of Kansas City, went to the chopping block this year and is no longer going to offer any health insurance plans in the individual market and sold their group benefits to Sun Life out of Boston. Larger carriers like Humana and Cigna are also names that will be slowly removed from health insurance roster as they and many others were purchased or merged with former competitors like Aetna and Anthem.
This rapid exodus is leading to a smaller and smaller pool of options for those shopping for health insurance in Springfield, MO and now only five carriers are left in the area. It is the hope of consumers and brokers alike that new companies will venture out into the market but sadly many of the regulations that led to the current situation have additionally created an impossible barrier to entry with little to no hope for change in sight.