Study: Marketplace Plans Cover Every Hospital In Six Large U.S. Cities

new report finds that nearly all insurers offering plans through the insurance marketplaces in six cities include many highly ranked hospitals within their provider networks. The report, prepared by researchers at the Urban Institute with funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, examines which hospitals are included within marketplace plans in six cities (Denver; New York City (Manhattan); Portland, Ore.; Providence; Baltimore; and Richmond, Va.) and concludes that every hospital  is included in at least one marketplace plan network.

The authors also looked at how the size of a plan’s provider network affected the cost of premiums. The report shows that the size of a plan’s network is not necessarily tied to premiums. The authors note that although narrowing networks (i.e., limiting the amount of providers included under a specific plan) generally led to more-competitive, lower-cost premiums, some plans with broader networks had low premiums, and some plans with narrow networks had high premiums.

“Every hospital in these cities participates in at least one marketplace plan, and that’s an important takeaway,” said Kathy Hempstead, who directs coverage issues at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. “Some consumers may want to choose the cheapest plan, while others may want to choose a plan based on access to a particular provider. We need a marketplace where all of those choices are possible.”

To speak with an expert about today’s report, please contact Frank Walsh at [email protected] or 504-309-5164.

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