The Obama administration plans on Monday to announce scores of new health insurance options to be offered to consumers around the country by the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association and the United States Office of Personnel Management, the agency that arranges health benefits for federal employees, according to administration officials.
The options are part of a multistate insurance program that Congress authorized in 2010 to increase options for consumers shopping in the online insurance markets scheduled to open on Tuesday.
Congress conceived multistate plans as an alternative to a pure government-run insurance program — the “public option” championed by liberal Democrats and opposed by Republicans in 2009-10.
And this is good because . . . .?
The federal government negotiated the benefits and premiums for the Blue Cross and Blue Shield products, so this plan carries a federal seal of approval.
But how is this good for consumers?
Supporters of the multistate plans authorized by Congress say the plans will increase competition in local health insurance markets, many of which are dominated by one or two carriers.
Introducing a "super plan", issued by ONE carrier, will increase competition in markets dominated by one or two carriers.