Using Total Cost Estimators to Help Consumers Understand Health Plan Costs

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<p>The Affordable Care Act’s health insurance marketplaces were designed to help consumers buy insurance on their own. In the marketplaces, people can easily view and compare plans in one place. However, shopping for insurance can still be challenging. Consumers are very interested in—but often confused by—a health plan’s cost.</p><p>In a new issue brief from The Commonwealth Fund, Georgetown University’s Justin Giovanelli and Emily Curran explore the marketplace’s use of total cost estimators—tools that help consumers estimate a plan’s total costs, including premiums, subsidies, and expected cost-sharing. Through interviews with marketplace officials and other stakeholders, the authors investigate the benefits and challenges of these tools. </p> Read the brief