Study: 40 Percent of ACA Silver Plans Have Narrow Networks

June 24, 2015

The Washington Post (Sun) reported that according to research from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, "forty percent of the most popular type of health plan sold on insurance exchanges offer consumers only a limited choice of doctors, in some cases less than 10 percent of physicians practicing in the area. ... These "narrow network" plans place limits on the doctors and hospitals available to their enrollees, often excluding high-cost providers. As a result, the premiums for such plans are lower, and attractive to price-sensitive consumers."

Additionally, The Hill (Ferris) also reported on the study, and further defined the networks, "four in 10 healthcare plans sold through the government’s marketplace have so few options that their networks are described as 'small' or 'extra small,' ... A small network means that plans cover fewer than 25 percent of doctors in the area, while extra small covers fewer than 10 percent, according to the group’s definition."