If you expect to buy Obamacare health insurance next year, get ready for the very real possibility of having fewer insurers and plans to choose from. Obamacare customers in a number of states are on track to have reduced options for their health plans, according to data released this week by the federal government.
That data was immediately touted by officials in the Trump administration as offering proof that the Affordable Care Act is failing and that a new health-care law is badly needed.
If there are few or just one insurers in a given state, it means there is little or no competition, which can translate into higher prices for customers.
But Obamacare experts who spoke with CNBC suggested that fears about a collapsing individual health-plan market are overblown.
Those experts also suggested that the reduced competition between Obamacare insurers in a number of U.S. counties that could be seen next year is largely a result of nervousness among insurers that is being fanned by actions of the Trump administration.
"The marketplaces were widely viewed as stable or stabilizing in most states at the beginning of this year," said Sara Collins, a senior vice president at the Commonwealth Fund, a leading health-care research group.
"It is the uncertainty about Congress and the administration's implementation of reforms that are the primary source of the current problems in individual market," Collins said.