SOURCE: AgileHealthInsurance

AgileHealthInsurance

December 02, 2015 09:00 ET

UnitedHealthcare's Possible Exit From Government Marketplaces Could Prove Disastrous for Obamacare Premium Prices

Premiums Could Increase 6 Percent to 19 Percent in Certain Counties

MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA--(Marketwired - Dec 2, 2015) - A study released today by AgileHealthInsurance.com shows unsubsidized premiums could rise dramatically if UnitedHealthcare exits Obamacare exchanges after 2016. UnitedHealthcare, the largest health insurer in the United States, recently warned that it may leave public exchanges next year due to the poor financial performance of its Obamacare exchange plans.

AgileHealthInsurance analyzed the costs for on-exchange Obamacare plans from UnitedHealthcare and other insurers in the 38 states using HealthCare.gov. The analysis, based on 2016 data, shows that UnitedHealthcare often offers the lowest-cost bronze, silver or gold plan. In fact, in counties where UnitedHealthcare sells the least expensive option, premiums for the lowest-cost plan would increase 6 percent-19 percent for unsubsidized consumers, depending on the metal level, if UnitedHealth exits the market.

"Obviously a major health insurer leaving the government marketplace would reduce competition," said Sam Gibbs, executive director of AgileHealthInsurance.com. "But the absence of an insurer as large as UnitedHealthcare would cause a major shift in premium prices, while at the same time leaving consumers with fewer health insurance plan choices for Obamacare."

Silver plans are the most popular type of Obamacare plan with 67 percent of enrollees selecting them during the 2015 open enrollment period. In the coverage areas where UnitedHealthcare sells the least expensive silver plan, the price of the least expensive silver plan would increase 10 percent if UnitedHealthcare exits Obamacare exchanges. In dollars, the monthly price of the least expensive silver plan would increase by the following amounts:

  • Age 30: $26.41 per month increase
  • Age 40: $29.74 per month increase
  • Age 50: $41.57 per month increase
  • Age 60: $63.16 per month increase

Term health insurance could be a fit for some consumers struggling with the rising cost of unsubsidized Obamacare premiums. Term insurance plans have broader provider network coverage than most Obamacare plans so enrollees can go to most doctors and still be covered. Out-of-network coverage is available in 100 percent of term insurance plans sold on AgileHealthInsurance.com.

Term health insurance represents a distinct category of health insurance and does not provide identical coverage as Obamacare plans, and benefit and eligibility differences contribute to the cost savings observed. Consumers apply and, depending on their health status (including pre-existing conditions), they may or may not be eligible for specific plans. Consumer applications are approved or rejected based on health status (including the nature of pre-existing conditions). Additionally, with term health insurance, consumers may still be subject to the Obamacare Tax unless they qualify for one of several exemptions from the tax. The cost of term health insurance is so affordable that even for some consumers facing the tax penalty, the combination of penalty and premium is still less expensive than an unsubsidized Obamacare premium. Read the article on AgileHealthInsurance's Learning Center at www.AgileHealthInsurance.com.

AgileHealthInsurance is the Internet's first site dedicated to helping consumers understand the benefits of Term Health Insurance. These new plans are the culmination of extensive research on health insurance needs in the Affordable Care Act era and consumers will be able to find the lowest prices for these plans on AgileHealthInsurance. AgileHealthInsurance also provides best-of-class plan comparison and online enrollment tools to accompany these new plans. Additional information about AgileHealthInsurance can be found at www.AgileHealthInsurance.com.

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