Creating a new, less expensive exchange plan could save both the health care industry and consumers big, a new study asserts.
Consulting firm Avalere Health said creating a copper-tier plan could help bring down federal health care spending by $5.8 billion over the next 10 years. And it could reduce premiums for plan holders by 18 percent compared to bronze plans in 2016.
In turn, that could draw more consumers to the exchanges.
“Introducing a new tier in 2016 may cause some individuals who have already enrolled in a marketplace plan to re-evaluate their prior choice, while also attracting other individuals who are expected to enroll for the first time in a marketplace plan that year,” the report said.
A copper plan would have an actuarial value of 50 percent. Bronze plans have an actuarial value of 60 percent; silver plans have 70 percent approximate coverage; gold plans have 80 percent coverage and platinum plans have 90 percent.
Creating a copper health plan has been floated around as a cheaper health care coverage option for nearly a year. U.S. Sen. Mark Begich, D-Alaska, proposed legislation last fall to create copper plans under PPACA. And in June America’s Health Insurance Plans urged the administration to create a cheaper tier of coverage — or catastrophic plan — that would still comply with other standards and rules under PPACA, including the minimum benefits standards and free preventive care, but would be cheaper than the other offered plans.