From Health Affairs:
In six months, open enrollment for the Affordable Care Act’s health insurance marketplaces will begin around the country. Massachusetts’ experience has proven to be instructive. In 2006, the state created an insurance exchange, called the Commonwealth Health Insurance Connector Authority. The Connector, which began offering unsubsidized commercial insurance products in 2007, now provides an array of options for consumers, including subsidized coverage to people with incomes below 300 percent of the poverty level.
A new study, being released today as a Web First by Health Affairs, surveyed 393 families in unsubsidized Connector plans. It found that 38 percent of surveyed families reported financial burden associated with their health care and 45 percent reported higher-than-expected out-of-pocket costs. This study is one of the first to evaluate the prevalence of and risk factors for financial burden and unexpected costs among families in unsubsidized health insurance exchange plans.