For Third Enrollment Period, Marketplaces Expand Decision Support Tools To Assist Consumers.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

The design of the Affordable Care Act's online health insurance Marketplaces can improve how consumers make complex health plan choices. We examined the choice environment on the state-based Marketplaces and in the third open enrollment period. Compared to previous enrollment periods, we found greater adoption of some decision support tools, such as total cost estimators and integrated provider lookups. Total cost estimators differed in how they generated estimates: In some Marketplaces, consumers categorized their own utilization, while in others, consumers answered detailed questions and were assigned a utilization profile. The tools available before creating an account (in the window-shopping period) and afterward (in the real-shopping period) differed in several Marketplaces. For example, five Marketplaces provided total cost estimators to window shoppers, but only two provided them to real shoppers. Further research is needed on the impact of different choice environments and on which tools are most effective in helping consumers pick optimal plans.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Wong, CA; Polsky, DE; Jones, AT; Weiner, J; Town, RJ; Baker, T

Published Date

  • April 2016

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 35 / 4

Start / End Page

  • 680 - 687

PubMed ID

  • 27044969

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1544-5208

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1377/hlthaff.2015.1637


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States