Health plans offered on the insurance exchanges created under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) negotiate hospital prices equivalent to or lower than prices paid by commercial group plans, according to recent analysis from USC Schaeffer Center. In the report, published in AJMC, ACA exchange plans on average paid 89% of what commercial group plans paid for both inpatient and outpatient procedures.

The researchers posit that ACA exchange plans may negotiate lower prices compared with commercial group plans because they have a narrow network design, or that hospitals are willing to accept lower rates for ACA exchange plans due to enrollees otherwise being uninsured and unable to pay hospital bills.

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