Narrow Provider Networks in New Health Plans: Balancing Affordability with Access to Quality Care

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Narrow networks contain a smaller number of providers and in-network facilities than traditional provider networks, typically resulting in lower premiums. This paper assesses the benefits and risks of a range of policy and regulatory options available to federal and state policy-makers on these narrow networks. The development, review and oversight of health plan networks involves trade-offs between premium costs and consumers’ access to and choice of providers. This paper makes clear that there is no current regulatory approach that can satisfy all stakeholders, but with the right balance between consumer choice and cost containment, consumers can receive quality care at an affordable price through narrow networks.

Resource Details

Date: Jun 2014
Author: Georgetown University and Urban Institute