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Times: Pima County has lowest Obamacare premiums in U.S.

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Times: Pima County has lowest Obamacare premiums in U.S.

  • New York Times graphic

While some areas of the country are served by a limited number of health insurers, competition in Arizona has led to Pima County having the most affordable Obamacare health insurance rates in the United States. A New York Times report on the online marketplaces created by the Affordable Care Act showed that of 2,500 counties, the Tucson area had the best rates.

With eight insurers bidding for business in the marketplace in Pima County, rates for a 50-year-old buying silver-level coverage run $235 before subsidies, based on the second-cheapest plan, the Times reported. In Baker County, Ga., which is served by just one insurer, the nation's highest rates amount to $673 monthly for the second-cheapest insurance, with the lowest running $644 before any subsidies.

In about 530 counties, just one insurer is participating in the marketplaces, according the data from the Department of Health and Human Services.

In many states, loans made to nonprofit cooperative insurance programs fostered the creation of additional competitors, driving down rates. The Times pointed to the difference in premiums between Wyoming, which has just two insurers competing, and neighboring Montana, with a startup co-op and significantly lower rates.

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