The Obama administration says nearly three in four Obamacare customers still can pay less than $75 a month for a health plan, in the wake of widely publicized reports that the marketplaces are suffering from a lack of affordable options.

Even if all insurance rates were to increase by 25 percent next year, 73 percent of shoppers would still be able to pay less than $75 per month for a plan with the help of federal subsidies, the Department of Health and Human Services said in an analysis released Wednesday afternoon.

HHS has been working to counter a plethora of negative headlines about President Obama's healthcare law, as insurers have proposed large, double-digit rate hikes for the 2017 enrollment season and three of the largest insurers have significantly scaled back their participation in the law's insurance marketplaces.

Officials have most often pointed to the subsidies available to low and middle-income people, noting that most marketplace consumers don't end up paying the full cost of their plans.

"Headline rate increases do not reflect what consumers actually pay," said Kathryn Martin, acting assistant secretary for planning and evaluation. "Our study shows that, even in a scenario where all plans saw double-digit rate increases, the vast majority of consumers would continue to have affordable options."

The rates for 2017 won't be finalized until later in September, with enrollment beginning Nov. 1. Even if some insurers reduce the rate hikes they have proposed, rates on average are still likely to rise significantly more than in the first few years of the Affordable Care Act marketplaces.

Besides noting that insurance subsidies are available, HHS officials also said consumers can shop around for plans more easily than before the marketplaces were created. That was demonstrated last year, when more than 40 percent of returning customers switched plans, saving an average of $42 per month, the agency said.

Earlier this week, the independent firm Avalere released an analysis finding that more than one-third of the country's insurance rating areas may have just one participating insurer and some counties may have no options for consumers at all.

A separate analysis commissioned by the New York Times found that 17 percent of Americans eligible for marketplace coverage may have only one insurance option next year.

The findings have fueled worries that insurers aren't being forced to compete enough with each other, driving up prices and making it hard for consumers to find affordable plans that include the specific benefits they want. Obamacare plans are generally intended for those who don't have coverage through their employer, Medicare or Medicaid.