Webinar Recording Now Available - Implications of Narrow Networks and the Tradeoff between Price and Choice

Publication Date: 
April 7, 2015

Tuesday, May 19, 2015, 1:00 - 2:30 p.m. EDT

Overview: With the proliferation of narrow network plans on the new marketplaces, consumers are being steered to plans that offer lower prices but limited choice. Insurers may offer narrow network plans to attract price-sensitive consumers who are willing to tradeoff network breadth for less costly premiums. Yet, anecdotal evidence suggests that the resulting provider networks may be narrower than expected, leaving consumers vulnerable to the financial burden of out-of-network care.

This webinar addressed the potential policy responses to the growth of narrow network plans and identified where more evidence was needed, to inform researchers and decision makers. Michael Chernew from Harvard Medical School presented the underlying evidence and motivations behind network design strategies, Lynn Quincy from the Consumers Union  explored the implications of these network design strategies for consumers, and Sabrina Corlette from Georgetown University discussed recent state experience and action in response to narrow networks. This webinar was an extension of a Research Insights meeting that was held in December 2014. If you are interested in learning more about narrow network plans please check out our issue brief.

This presentation is intended to be a professional resource. Please note that some of the slides are pre-publication and are not intended for distribution or citation.

This webinar was presented by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Changes in Health Care Financing and Organization (HCFO) initiative and a Research Insights conference grant from the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

Megan Collado, M.P.H., AcademyHealth (moderator); Michael Chernew, Ph.D., Harvard Medical School; Sabrina Corlette, J.D., Georgetown University; and Lynn Quincy, M.A., Consumers Union

Learning Objectives: This webinar provided:

  • An overview of the effectiveness of network design strategies with respect to cost and quality and access to care.
  • Overview of provider and consumer responses.
  • A discussion of recent state experience with narrow networks.
  • Regulatory and policy recommendations to preserve the benefits of these designs while shielding consumers from access problems and unexpected financial burdens.
  • Identification of high-priority research questions to better inform policy and practice.

A recording of the webinar is available here:

For additional resources on narrow networks, please click here.