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Gov Exchanges Beat Broker Exchanges in Obamacare & Medicare Insurance Markets

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SOURCE HealthPocket

Multi-City Study Examined Number of Plans, Premiums & Deductibles

SUNNYVALE, Calif., May 7, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A comparison of government and broker exchanges for health insurance found government exchanges had more health insurance options than found on exchanges operated by two major brokers working in the Obamacare and Medicare health insurance markets. HealthPocket performed exchange comparisons across 11 major U.S. cities, both for the Obamacare health plan market and for the Medicare Advantage health plan market. Key findings of the study include:

  • On average, the broker exchange had 29% fewer Obamacare plans than the government exchanges in the 11 cities investigated
  • The lowest available Obamacare premium was 6.5% higher on average in the broker exchange than on the government exchanges
  • In all 11 cities, the government's exchange displayed more Medicare Advantage plans than the broker exchange
  • The broker exchange displayed one third as many 5 star Medicare Advantage plans as across the eleven cities

For the Obamacare market, each city's local government health insurance marketplace was compared to the private exchange from the broker eHealth, Inc., the first broker-run health insurance exchange in the United States. For the Medicare Advantage health plan market, was compared to OneExchange (originally known as Extend Health prior to its acquisition by Towers Watson), the first broken-run Medicare exchange. Private exchanges operated by insurance companies or consumer information web sites were not examined as part of this study.

It should be noted that while the government exchanges performed better than broker exchanges with respect to inventory breadth, the government exchanges often did not display the complete inventory of Obamacare products, excluding off-exchange health plan options in many cases. Consequently, consumers could not review a complete set of health plan options on either the government exchanges or the broker exchange web sites examined.

The full results of the study along with its methodology can be reviewed in the healthcare research section of 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

©2012 PR Newswire. All Rights Reserved.

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