MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., July 14, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Four of the five largest health insurance companies by market share in the United States are for-profit insurers, but over 60% of health plans with at least 100,000 enrollees are from nonprofit insurers. HealthPocket compared Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) premiums from nonprofit and for-profit insurers to determine how frequently nonprofit or for-profit insurers offered the lowest premiums in counties that used the government's health insurance marketplace, Healthcare.gov. In most counties where nonprofit and for-profit insurers both offered Obamacare health plans, nonprofit insurers offered the cheapest premiums for metal plans.
Silver plans were the most popular metal plans during the 2015 Obamacare open enrollment period, making up 67% of plan selections. HealthPocket found that nonprofit insurers offered the lowest silver plan premiums in 1,072 of the 1,841 counties where both nonprofit and for-profit insurers offered silver plans, a 58% to 42% advantage over for-profit insurers. For bronze, gold, and platinum plans, nonprofit insurers offered the lowest premiums in about half of the counties where both for-profit insurers and nonprofit insurers offered plans.
On average, the lowest available premiums from for-profit insurers were 0% to 2% higher than the lowest available premiums from nonprofit insurers for bronze, silver, and gold plans. However nonprofit insurers offered 11% lower premiums than for-profit insurers for platinum plans. Among the four metal levels, the platinum plans were the least popular in 2015, accounting for only 3% of plan selections. However platinum plans generally pay the greatest percentage of covered healthcare costs for enrollees among the four types of metal plans.
HealthPocket's analysis compared Obamacare premiums for 40-year-old non-smokers in the 34 states on the healthcare.gov federal marketplace. Plans on state-based marketplaces were not included in the analysis, nor were off-exchange Obamacare plans, Obamacare catastrophic plans, Medicare plans, short-term insurance plans, and Medicaid plans. The full report is available at "Nonprofit Obamacare Insurers Have Lower Premiums than For-Profit Insurers in Most Counties that Use Healthcare.gov".
HealthPocket.com is a free website that compares and ranks all health insurance plans, helping individuals, families, and small businesses to make their best health plan decisions. HealthPocket publishes health insurance market analyses and other consumer advocacy research. HealthPocket's research is nonpartisan and 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. HealthPocket, Inc. is independently managed and based in Mountain View, California. Learn more at www.HealthPocket.com.