In California, Marketplace Customers Avoid Higher Premium Increases by Buying Lower-Price Plans

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<p>During the 2016 presidential campaign, premium increases of 22 percent or more were commonly cited as an illustration of the failure of the Affordable Care Act. Other assessments showed lower annual increases, but all shared a common flaw: they were calculated based on plans offered by insurers. </p><p>A new Commonwealth Fund–supported study published today in <em>Health Affairs</em> looks at policies that consumers actually purchased. Focusing on plans in California, the study finds that the average price paid for plans selected in 2014 was 11.6 percent less than the average price of all plans offered by insurers. Similar differences were observed in 2015 and 2016, suggesting that consumers are choosing to purchase lower-cost plans. </p>
<p>These finding suggest that the marketplaces are helping moderate cost growth. "If consumers have easy-to-understand, transparent information without being overwhelmed with too many choices, they will buy lower-premium products available on their tier," the authors conclude. </p> Read the post