In June, we described the first attempt to measure, in a consumer-friendly way, the breadth of physician networks offered by all silver plans on the 2014 health insurance marketplaces. We estimated network size based on the fraction of office-based physicians participating in the network within relevant rating areas in the state. We categorized networks using "T-shirt" sizes: x-small (less than 10%), small (10%-25%), medium (25%-40%), large (40%-60%), and x-large (more than 60%). We found that nationally, 41% of all networks were either “small” or “x-small”.
There’s been a lot of talk about "narrow" networks in ACA plans, which trade off limited provider coverage for lower premiums. Using a new integrated dataset of physician networks in plans on the federal and state marketplaces, our latest LDI/RWJF Data Brief describes the breadth of physician networks across all silver plans sold in 2014.