Following the enactment of the Affordable Care Act, many observers have agreed that new and forward-thinking policy solutions are needed to confront the enduring economic challenges in health care and health insurance markets. On October 7, The Hamilton Project hosted a policy forum addressing these economic challenges in an evolving health care market. The Council of Economic Advisers Chairman Jason Furman delivered framing remarks.
Substantial evidence shows that consumers often lack the high-quality information to select the best insurance plan, and once they have selected a plan they are less likely to switch, even as better plans become available. In response, Ben Handel and Jonathan Kolstad propose that exchanges develop a personalized decision support tool to give consumers the information they need to select the best plan. Additionally, they propose that exchanges establish a system of smart defaults, where an algorithm is used to move consumers to new plans if those plans deliver more value.