ACA contained provisions, many of which took effect in 2014, that could affect how issuers determine health insurance coverage and premiums and how they market their plans. For example, ACA prohibits issuers from denying coverage or varying premiums based on consumer health status or gender. ACA also requires health plans to generally be marketed based on metal tiers (bronze, silver, gold, and platinum), which allows consumers to compare the relative value of each plan. It also required the establishment of health insurance exchanges in each state, through which consumers can compare and select from among participating health plans.
This testimony describes (1) private health-insurance market concentration and issuer participation from 2011 through 2014, the year by which key ACA provisions took effect, (2) health plans and premiums available to individuals in 2014 and 2015, and (3) the experience of enrollees that obtained coverage through the exchanges from 2014 through 2016. It is based on three GAO reports issued in 2015 and 2016.Read the full report