Consumer Cost-Sharing Increased Modestly in Marketplace Plans

eAlert 05435d07-fc2a-416f-bbf3-19fd4c77e4a1

<p>Cost-sharing—such as copays and deductibles—in health care plans offered in the Affordable Care Act’s marketplaces increased modestly between 2015 and 2016, a new Commonwealth Fund–supported study finds. Authors Jon Gabel and colleagues at NORC at the University of Chicago found that cost-sharing increased for out-of-pocket limits, annual deductibles, and certain brand-name drugs. However, copays for primary care office visits remained constant and copayments for generic drugs dropped by more than 3 percent. </p><p>The authors note that future cost-sharing increases are likely to be smaller in marketplace plans than in employer-based insurance because of consumer protections in place in the ACA’s health insurance marketplaces. </p>
<p>“Affordability of health care is a top concern for consumers,” said Sara Collins, vice president for health care coverage and access at The Commonwealth Fund. “More than 40 percent of people buying plans in the Affordable Care Act marketplaces don’t qualify for plans with reduced cost-sharing, so it is important that we track people’s cost-sharing obligations and their effect on whether people get the care they need.” </p> Read the brief