Obtaining Information on Marketplace Health Plans: Websites Dominate but Key Groups Also Use Other Sources

Brief

Obtaining Information on Marketplace Health Plans: Websites Dominate but Key Groups Also Use Other Sources

Abstract

After the highly publicized troubled start, enrollment in the Affordable Care Act's health insurance Marketplaces exceeded 8 million. Despite many early problems, the vast majority of people who looked for Marketplace information had either used or tried to use a website to find it, and most had found the website they used very or somewhat easy to navigate. But not everyone used a website to obtain information on Marketplace health insurance plans. In this brief, we explore how different groups relied on many sourceswebsite, direct assistance (e.g., call center, navigator, insurance broker, Medicaid agency office), the media, or indirect or informal channelsto find information on Marketplace plans. While Healthcare.gov and the state-based Marketplace websites are often viewed as the cornerstone of the ACA, consumers have used, and will likely continue to use, other sources of information on health insurance plans.

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