(NEW YORK) — Americans who live in rural areas of the 34 states that are running the new health care exchanges are at a disadvantage when it comes to choosing a plan, according to an analysis by The New York Times.
The newspaper says some of the highest-priced insurance plans are in these small towns and rural areas because there is a lack of competition.
While heavily-populated regions have multiple insurance carriers offering plans in the exchanges, residents in less-populated areas sometimes only have one insurer to choose from.
After analyzing data from the Department of Health and Human Services, the Times found that 58 percent of the estimated 2,500 counties that are running the exchanges have only one or two carriers offering plans.
“In about 530 counties, only a single insurer is participating,” the newspaper adds.
Government subsidies can reduce the cost, however. Furthermore, the Obama Administration says 95 percent of uninsured Americans live in areas where premiums turned out to be lower than expected.
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Lauren del Valle and Shachar Peled, CNN
Ralph Ellis, CNN
Brian Stelter, CNN