Some consumers say ACA creates a two-tier system

By Annette Boyle

Consumers in New York and other markets report that the plans available through the Affordable Care Act offer inferior coverage compared to those provided by employers, often excluding premier hospitals and including few specialists, according to the New York Times.

Much of the dissatisfaction stems from narrow network structures. The article notes that ACA plans often fail to include high-end hospitals that employer-sponsored plans would consider essential, such as Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York and Cedars Sinai in Los Angeles. 

And, while the ACA allows parents to cover their young adult children up to age 26, few exchange plans provide coverage across state lines.

Not all consumers find narrow networks problematic, though. Most prefer less expensive plans to broader networks. And exchange consumers nationwide report the same level of satisfaction as individuals with employer coverage, according to a recent survey published by Deloitte.

Government regulators at the state and federal level are taking steps to improve the coverage offered by exchange plans and to make their limitations more transparent. Many have focused on requiring more accurate directories of providers, for example, according to the article.

To learn more:
- here's the New York Times article

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