More than half of Americans with individual market health insurance coverage in 2010 were enrolled in so-called "tin" plans, which provide less coverage than the lowest "bronze"-level plans in the Affordable Care Act, and therefore would not be able to be offered in the health insurance exchanges that are being created under the law, according to a Commonwealth Fund. The analysis suggests that once the state-based exchanges — set up to make it easier for individuals and small businesses to shop for health insurance — go into effect in 2014, many of these Americans will be able to purchase plans that offer better coverage. In addition, many will be eligible for premium subsidies that will help offset the cost of the plans.

Compared with people enrolled in individual market plans, a majority of those enrolled in employer group plans have far more comprehensive coverage with less cost-sharing. Most group plans had an actuarial value of 80% to 89%, qualifying them as "gold" plans to be sold in the exchanges, compared with an actuarial value of below 60% for the "tin" plans, according to the study.

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