Reuters: More than 100 insurers sign up for Obama healthcare exchanges

By David Morgan

WASHINGTON | Thu May 30, 2013 5:17pm EDT

(Reuters) – The White House, seeking to show early success for President Barack Obama’s health reforms, said more than 120 insurers have applied to sell plans on federally-run online marketplaces that begin offering subsidized coverage in just over four months.

Based on a memo released by senior administration officials, about 5 million consumers could be able to choose from a variety of plans from at least five insurance companies with coverage that meets new quality standards set down by the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

Each insurance company applicant would offer 15 separate plans on average.

The administration did not provide a state-by-state breakdown. Officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said some markets now dominated by one or two insurers may not see significant change.

The data was described as preliminary but officials said it was encouraging as an early indicator of consumer choice and competition that could help restrain health insurance costs and help some avoid the sticker shock that Republicans and some analysts have predicted.

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