December 2, 2015 09:00ET

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-- A study released today by 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 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 "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

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.

Kevin McVicker,
(703) 739-5920 was launched in 2015 to educate consumers on the availability of private market health insurance products that are alternatives to Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) plans. Today AgileHealthInsurance is the largest distributor of short term medical insurance, providing a fast, online process for purchasing these plans. Short Term Medical Insurance is a flexible and low-cost major medical insurance for individuals without expensive pre-existing health conditions. It is not Obamacare. Short-term health plans offer consumers the flexibility to choose health plans with the benefits that matter most to them and combine these benefits with broad provider networks. Additional information about AgileHealthInsurance can be found at

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