ACA insurers offering patients fewer choices at higher prices, study finds

Patients face higher costs and increasingly narrow healthcare networks in ACA exchange markets, a new study reveals.

The study, commissioned by Physicians for Fair Coverage and conducted by Avalere, examined HHS individual market landscape files from 2014 to 2017 and data from the state exchanges. Avalere also used Strenuus network data for the 2017 plan year to determine providers' participation in networks by market.

Three findings:

1. The number of healthcare plans in the exchange markets offering restrictive networks grew from 48 percent in 2014 to 68 percent in 2017.

2. Healthcare plans in the exchange markets in 2017 specifically covered 34 percent to  66 percent fewer providers than plans available in other markets.

3. In addition to more restrictive insurance networks, patients also saw coverage costs climb in the exchange markets. Nearly all enrollees in ACA exchange plans (almost 90 percent) had deductibles above $1,300. Additionally, health insurance plan premiums jumped 28 percent for exchange plans, on average, from 2014 to 2017.  

Read the full study here.


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