Narrow network ACA plans have 6.7% lower premiums, study finds

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Restricted provider networks may be the link to America's cost-conscious uninsured population, a study published in Health Affairs found.

Researchers from the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia analyzed data on Affordable Care Act marketplace silver plans offered nationwide in 2014 to estimate how provider network size affected premium price.

Here are four study findings.

1. Plans with extra-slim provider networks were associated with a 6.7 percent decrease in premium price compared to plans with equivalent design but large provider networks.

2.  Narrow provider networks for people with individual plans led to an annual savings of $212 to $339 per person in markets with average-priced health plans.

3. Savings under narrow network plans jumped to $692 for a family of four, according to the study. 

4. Study authors concluded narrow network plans with lower premiums could bridge the remaining uninsured population gap, as premium cost is the No.1 driver of why Americans remain uninsured.  

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