Hard data on trouble you'll have finding doctors in Obamacare

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Article Highlights

  • This graph illustrates data we developed on the doctor networks found in the Obamacare health plans v. comparable private health plans.

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  • We looked at the health plans sold in the most populous county within each of these different states.

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  • We compared Anthem’s “Pathway X” Bronze plans marketed in selected regions with its leading PPO plan offered in the same region.

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The graph below illustrates data we developed on the doctor networks found in the Obamacare health plans versus comparable private health plans.

The black text illustrates the average number of specialist doctors found in private health plans. The red text shows how many fewer doctors are found in the Obamacare plans being sold in the same markets, and by the same insurer. To assemble this data, we looked at the health plans sold in the most populous county within each of these different states.

The data is for Anthem BlueCross BlueShield. We chose this insurer because it is regarded to offer higher quality plans in both the commercial market and on the exchanges. Moreover, it operates in these markets nationally, in about a dozen states. This allows us to look across the experience in different states and regions.

Finally, Anthem (unlike many other plans) makes information about its provider networks in both its commercial and exchange plans available on its web site.

For this analysis, we compared Anthem’s “Pathway X” Bronze plans (the name of its exchange offering) marketed in these regions with its leading PPO plan offered in the same region, as a stand-alone product in the individual market or as a commercial product in the employer insurance market. In most cases, the network sizes of the individual and commercial market plans were very similar.

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