News Release

For 3rd Year in a Row, More Insurers are Entering the ACA Marketplaces, Creating More Options for Consumers

For the third straight year, more insurers are entering the Affordable Care Act’s marketplaces and expanding their service areas, creating more options for consumers seeking to buy their own insurance for 2021, a new KFF analysis finds. 

The analysis finds 30 insurers joining the marketplace across 20 states, and another 61 insurers are expanding their services within states that they already served. More than a third of counties (1,207, or 38%) will have more insurers serving the marketplaces, while only a few counties (12, or 0.4%) will see a net decrease.

The boom among participating insurers in recent years has sharply increased consumers’ options and dramatically reduced one-insurer markets.  

More than three-quarters (78%) of marketplace enrollees now will be able to choose from at least three insurers, up from about half (48%) in 2018. At the other end, just 3% of enrollees only will have a single insurer serving their county, down from a quarter (26%) in 2018.

Insurer participation varies greatly within states, and rural areas tend to have fewer insurers than metropolitan areas. The analysis includes interactive maps tracking the trends in number of marketplace insurers by county since the ACA marketplaces launched. 

Marketplace open enrollment runs through Dec. 15 in states using federal marketplace and later in most state-run marketplaces. More open enrollment information, including answers to frequently asked questions and a calculator that estimates potential enrollees’ tax credits and premiums, is available at

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The independent source for health policy research, polling, and news, KFF is a nonprofit organization based in San Francisco, California.