Question: I just read today that in-exchange networks are different than off-exchange networks. For example, if I buy a plan from Blue Shield, they offer one network. If I buy the same plan with Blue Shield from Covered California, that network is much smaller. Is this true, and for what insurance companies?
Answer: No. Exchange carriers offer “mirrored” plans off-exchange that exactly match the Exchange plans including networks. Blue Shield offers only mirrored plans off-exchange. Anthem will offer alternative plans in addition to their mirrored plans off-exchange. Alternative plans are allowed by the ACA to foster innovation and and since they are not required to match exchange plans exactly some may offer broader networks.