[Skip to Content]
Access to paid content on this site is currently suspended due to excessive activity being detected from your IP address Please contact the publisher to request reinstatement.
Curated health policy research and original commentary from across the JAMA Network
[Skip to Content Landing]
JAMA Forum

Why It’s So Hard for Insurers to Compete Over Technology

We are awash in choices about health insurance. Affordable Care Act (ACA) marketplaces offer about 40 plans, on average. Medicare beneficiaries can choose from among about 2 dozen to 3 dozen Medicare Advantage and prescription drug plans, respectively. At least half of all US workers are offered multiple coverage options by their employers. And many Medicaid enrollees can choose among managed care plans.

What’s the point of all these choices? In theory, customers will be drawn to those plans that offer good value for the money. That’s why plans offer different levels of cost sharing, for example, and differ in which and how many doctors and hospitals are included in their networks. Apart from requirements mandated by the federal government or the states, they also vary in the classes of care they cover. Some may offer more coverage for optical or dental care, for example. Customers can then shop for the plans they prefer most at a cost they can afford.

Limit 200 characters
Limit 25 characters
Conflicts of Interest Disclosure

Identify all potential conflicts of interest that might be relevant to your comment.

Conflicts of interest comprise financial interests, activities, and relationships within the past 3 years including but not limited to employment, affiliation, grants or funding, consultancies, honoraria or payment, speaker's bureaus, stock ownership or options, expert testimony, royalties, donation of medical equipment, or patents planned, pending, or issued.

Err on the side of full disclosure.

If you have no conflicts of interest, check "No potential conflicts of interest" in the box below. The information will be posted with your response.

Not all submitted comments are published. Please see our commenting policy for details.

Limit 140 characters
Limit 3600 characters or approximately 600 words