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Julia Brown is a Content Specialist for Managed Healthcare Executive.
The least expensive plans offered by UnitedHealthcare, Aetna, Cigna and Assurant were over 40% more expensive on average than the least expensive plans on the exchanges
Off-exchange plans are almost half as expensive as exchange plans, according to a new study by HealthPocket.
Across bronze, silver and gold metal plans, the least expensive premiums offered by UnitedHealthcare, Aetna, Cigna and Assurant were more than 40% more expensive on average than the least expensive premiums on the exchanges.
The study found that in 39 states:
"The increased price competitiveness of the exchange plans may increase enrollment in these plans," says Kev Coleman, head of data and research at HealthPocket.
For premium comparisons, HealthPocket assumed that the enrollee was a 40 year-old nonsmoker. Platinum plans were not included because many areas did not have platinum plan options.
Coleman says that a few factors contribute to these findings.
"The possible entry of large off-exchange carriers into exchanges in 2015 may not have any significant effect for consumers with respect to greater premium competition," he says. "However, off-exchange carriers may look to adjust their healthcare provider networks to become more cost competetive with the exchange plans."