Before and After the Affordable Care Act: Consumers’ Coverage Experience Through the Eyes of State Consumer Assistance Programs

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The Affordable Care Act (ACA) set new standards for the adequacy of health insurance, including limits on out-of-pocket cost-sharing and requirements that insurers cover a minimum set of health benefits. Yet while we know that access to health insurance has improved, our understanding of consumers’ experiences with plans’ cost-sharing, provider networks, and benefit design is lacking. One source of information about consumers’ coverage experiences are the state-run Consumer Assistance
Programs (CAPs) call centers, which receive calls from consumers on a wide range of issues, from those seeking coverage to those with coverage that is not meeting their needs. These programs provide a unique lens on consumer experiences with coverage both before and after the ACA went into full effect in 2014. They can help us understand how consumers have benefited from the insurance reforms, and where there may still be gaps or problems with their insurance coverage.

Resource Details

Date: Apr 2015
Author: Georgetown University Health Policy Institute