A webinar scheduled tomorrow(May 20) at 2 p.m. EDT by Families USA will offer advocates, policymakers, and other stakeholders around the country an opportunity to learn more about the type of silver health plan options that are proving most affordable for lower- to moderate- income consumers in the new health insurance marketplaces. Connecticut is highlighted among the states featured in the 27-page brief, Designing Silver Health Plans with Affordable Out-of-Pocket Costs for Lower-and Moderate-Income Consumers, released by Families USA last week, and the focus of the webinar. The brief contains original research conducted by the consumer advocacy group which analyzes existing silver plan options and 11 model plan designs that make upfront costs for care more affordable.
Of the four levels of marketplace coverage ‒ platinum, gold, silver and bronze ‒ silver plans are proving to be the most popular choice among consumers. However, Families USA has found that in many marketplaces, most silver plans have higher deductibles, which can create barriers to care, particularly for consumers who are ineligible for federal assistance that reduces their deductibles.
The policy brief takes an in-depth look at the designs of silver plans with strategies to make the plans more affordable for consumers. “Of the eight state standardized plan designs, we identified four silver plans that met our criteria (for affordability,” the authors of the brief wrote, listing California, Oregon and Vermont. As part of their strategy to keep upfront, out-of-pocket costs down, the silver plans in these states exempt primary care, specialty care, mental health office visits, urgent care services, and outpatient rehabilitative services from the deductibles.
Arlene Murphy, a member of the Access Health CT Consumer Advisory Committee, will be a featured speaker on the call. Other advocates will also discuss their experiences developing standardized plans for their state’s marketplaces. Lydia Mitts, Senior Policy Analyst, Families USA, will also speak.
Webinar Moderator: Lizette Rivera, Senior Field Associate, Families USA