January 12, 2012
The concept of actuarial value plays a large role in the implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. It is a key piece of information that consumers will use to navigate their coverage choices in the individual and small group markets. It is also used to establish minimum thresholds for coverage and to establish premium tax credit levels. In October 2011, Consumers Union convened a panel of experts to discuss several key issues: (1) how actuarial value will be employed under the health reform law, (2) the definitional and measurement issues associated with its use, and (3) how to craft a measure that is usable by consumers. This brief distills this discussion and identifies the key challenges and issues that regulators must address if actuarial value is to be used effectively under the PPACA.
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