For the first time in 2022, every Pennsylvania county will have at least two insurers in the Affordable Care Act health insurance marketplace — and three counties will have six.
State Insurance Commissioner Jessica Altman released Pennsylvania's individual and small group ACA insurance rates Friday morning, noting that the statewide average rate increase in the individual market was just 0.2% for next year.
The small group market will see an increase of 4.5%, she said.
"Pennsylvania continues to have a robust and competitive health insurance marketplace, despite the lasting presence of COVID-19," Altman said in a statement. "With an increase in options for many counties and stable premiums, there are now more pathways to ensuring everyone has an opportunity to get covered."
Two factors in keeping costs down, Altman said, are the Pennsylvania Reinsurance Program and the federal American Rescue Plan.
The Reinsurance Program has kept individual market premiums 5.5% lower than they would without it, and the American Rescue Plan lowered or eliminated premiums for many low- and middle-income families receiving healthcare coverage through Pennie, Pennsylvania's health insurance marketplace.
Pennie helps state residents with financial assistance to reduce the cost of coverage and care that was previously available through Healthcare.gov.
"With more than 330,000 Pennsylvanians enrolled through Pennie and 90 percent of those consumers receiving financial assistance, it is of the utmost importance that we continue to educate individuals on how to protect themselves and their families," Altman said.
Pennie's open enrollment period run from Nov. 1 through Jan. 15.
Counties get options
Altman also said that no Pennsylvania county will lose an insurer on the exchange, and, in fact, 22 counties will gain one insurer while three counties will gain two.
Come next year, Pennsylvania will not have any counties with just one insurer. The state will have eight insurers offering plans with the addition of Cigna to the marketplace.
According to a state Insurance Department map, every county in western Pennsylvania will have two insurers in 2022 and counties in central Pennsylvania will have three or four insurers.
Southeast Pennsylvania counties will have four insurers while Lancaster, Lehigh and Northampton counties will have six insurers.
J.D. Prose is a reporter for the USA TODAY Network's Pennsylvania State Capital Bureau. He can be reached at [email protected].