Study: Cheapest Off-Exchange Plans 40% More Expensive than Cheapest Exchange Plans

Exchanges Have Less Expensive Plans than Major Off-Exchange Companies in 35 out of 39 States Examined

Jun 05, 2014, 09:30 ET from HealthPocket

SUNNYVALE, Calif., June 5, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- HealthPocket has released a major study comparing the lowest priced health plans on versus off exchange. For the off-exchange plans, HealthPocket examined United Healthcare, Aetna, Cigna, and Assurant. When comparing on and off exchange plans across the most populous cities in 39 states where both groups were competing, HealthPocket found:

  • Across the bronze, silver, and gold metal plans, the least expensive plans offered by the four off-exchange insurance companies were over 40% more expensive on average than the least expensive plans on the exchanges
  • The exchanges had the lowest cost bronze plan option in 36 out of 39 states
  • The exchanges had the lowest cost silver plan option in 35 out of 39 states
  • The exchanges had the lowest cost gold plan option in 35 out of 39 states

For premium comparisons, HealthPocket assumed that the enrollee was a 40 year-old nonsmoker. Given the fact that many areas did not have platinum plan options, platinum plans were not included within the analysis.

"Given the current expense of the off-exchange plans we examined" said Kev Coleman, Head of Research & Data at HealthPocket, "we don't expect their entrance on exchanges will introduce higher levels of premium competition. However, health plans are more than premiums and we are interested in exploring other issues such as out-of-pocket costs and healthcare provider network breadth."

The full findings can be reviewed in the study "Cheapest Plans from Major Off-Exchange Companies Over 40% More Expensive than Cheapest Exchange Plans." is a free website that compares and ranks all health insurance plans available to an individual, family, or small business to allow consumers to make their best health plan decision and reduce their out of pocket costs. HealthPocket uses only objective data from government, non-profit, and private sources that carry no conditions that might restrict the site from serving as an unbiased resource. Learn more at

SOURCE HealthPocket