Narrow Networks, Access to Hospitals and Premiums

An Analysis of Marketplace Products in Six Cities
Doctors go over a patient's charts in the emergency room.

A report by the Urban Institute finds that nearly all insurers offering plans through the insurance marketplaces in six cities studied include highly ranked hospitals within their provider networks.

The Issue:

The report examines which hospitals are included within marketplace plans in six cities: Denver; New York City (Manhattan); Portland, Ore.; Providence; Baltimore; and Richmond, Va.

Key Findings

  • The size of a plan’s network is not necessarily tied to the cost of its premiums.

  • Narrow networks led to more-competitive, lower-cost premiums, yet some plans with broader networks had low premiums and some plans with narrow networks had high premiums.

Conclusion:

The research concludes that every hospital in the cities studied is included in at least one marketplace plan network.

About the Grantee:

The Urban Institute is a nonprofit, nonpartisan policy research and educational organization that examines the social, economic and governance problems facing the nation. For more information, visit www.urban.org.