Americans’ Experiences with ACA Marketplace Coverage: Affordability and Provider Network Satisfaction

From the Issue Brief published by The Commonwealth Fund:

For people with low and moderate incomes, the Affordable Care Act’s tax credits have made premium costs roughly comparable to those paid by people with job-based health insurance. For those with higher incomes, the tax credits phase out, meaning that adults in marketplace plans on average have higher premium costs than those in employer plans. The law’s cost-sharing reductions are reducing deductibles. Lower-income adults in marketplace plans were less likely than higher-income adults to report having deductibles of $1,000 or more. Majorities of new marketplace enrollees and those who have changed plans since they initially obtained marketplace coverage are satisfied with the doctors participating in their plans. Overall, the majority of marketplace enrollees expressed confidence in their ability to afford care if they were to become seriously ill. This issue brief explores these and other findings from the Commonwealth Fund Affordable Care Act Tracking Survey, February–April 2016. The findings include:

  • Premium costs are similar in marketplace plans and employer plans
  • Half of adults in marketplace plans say their premiums are affordable
  • Lower-income adults with marketplace coverage less likely to have high deductibles
  • Lower-income adults with marketplace coverage less likely to report premium increase
  • Four of five adults with new marketplace coverage are satisfied with the doctors in their plans
  • Rate of “surprise medical bills” similar in employer and marketplace plans
  • Cost was most important factor in selecting a plan
  • Fewer than half of adults said it was easy to find an affordable plan

Read the full issue brief.