Kansas State University


Issues in Health Reform

How competitive are health insurance markets

A recent study of the insurance markets in six states (Alaska, Florida, Kansas, North Carolina, Ohio and Texas)  released by the Brookings Institution suggested the following common themes:

  • “Despite education and outreach efforts by insurance agents, navigators and health policy experts, many consumers lack a good understanding of health insurance and how plan provider networks and premiums are related to out-of-pocket costs such as deductibles, co-payments and co-insurance.
  • The size of the population in a state’s insurance market is an important determinant of insurer participation.
  • The ability of insurers to negotiate favorable contracts with health care providers is key to their success and interest in participating in an insurance market.
  • Enrollment in marketplace plans is generally driven by low premiums, which has implications for consumers who purchase lower-cost plans that may not meet their health care or financial needs.”

For a good summary press release from Kansas see: Kansas Health Institute

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