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August 01, 2017

Some Consumers May Benefit from Extra Support During Insurance Transition - New Research Insights

The annual ritual of shopping for health plans on the exchanges may help consumers save money, but moving between carriers with different provider networks can also disrupt patient-physician relationships. In a recent study, supported by a grant from NIHCM Foundation, Harvard researchers document sharp increases in emergency department visits by Medicaid patients in the month after they changed insurers, suggesting these patients may be unsure about where to seek care. The paper also finds that insurance transitions are associated with short-lived jumps in visits to primary care physicians who are new to the patient.

This one-page Research Insights highlights the key findings.