Making Provider Directories Meaningful to Consumers

Consumers continue to face challenges determining which doctors are in plan networks. This information is crucial for choosing a plan as well as for deciding which providers can be accessed without incurring burdensome out-of-network costs. Specific problems consumers face include navigating provider directories online, assessing the accuracy of provider directories, effectively comparing providers across plans, and understanding how to proceed when a listed provider leaves a plan’s network during the plan year. This brief provides a list of key protections that should be put in place to improve consumers’ experience with and ability to rely on provider directories.

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