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US President Barack Obama reacts to a question about what he would say to Republican Presidential Hopeful Mitt Romney during a press conference in the Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House in Washington, DC, March 6, 2012. Obama holds the news conference hours before results from crucial Super Tuesday contests which could be pivotal in deciding the Republican presidential nominee. AFP PHOTO / Saul LOEB US President Barack Obama reacts to a question about what he would say to Republican Presidential Hopeful Mitt Romney during a press conference in the Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House in Washington, DC, March 6, 2012. Obama holds the news conference hours before results from crucial Super Tuesday contests which could be pivotal in deciding the Republican presidential nominee. AFP PHOTO / Saul LOEB  

Study: Private companies cheaper than Obamacare exchanges

Two private insurance exchanges across metropolitan areas in 45 states provide more options more cheaply than Obamacare exchanges, the National Center for Public Policy Research found.

Senior fellow for health policy David Hogberg found that on average both single 27-year-olds and married 57-year-old couples have more choice in private companies in 2013 than they’ll be able to find in Obamacare exchanges.

This is true even though the younger demographic is typically healthier with low health care costs and the older group is more likely to be subsidized by younger customers.

On average, both male and female 27-year-olds will have ten more options on eHealthInsurance.com than an Affordable Care Act marketplace. Young men will have 31 more choices on Finder.healthcare.gov than Obamacare’s Healthcare.gov, while young women will see 38 more. The results pan out for older customers as well. For a 57-year-old married couple, eHealth offers nine more plans on average, and Finder offers 19 more.

“Obamacare supporters, including the president himself and Nancy Pelosi, claimed the exchanges would yield more choice and lower prices,” Hogberg said. “This study shows those claims do not stand up.”

The price of the policies is likely to be a sticking point for many Americans. Still, a sizable chunk of the private alternatives proved to be less costly than Obamacare exchanges. For 27-year-old males, 32 health insurance policies on eHealth and 38 plans on Finder were less expensive than the exchanges’ cheapest policy.  Young women can find 18 and 20 cheaper plans on the two exchanges respectively and for older couples, 29 and 28 plans on eHealth and Finder.

The private companies even beat subsidized options under Obamacare.

“For a 27-year-old earning $25,000 annually, the subsidy he would receive was often insufficient to make the cheapest exchange policy cost less than options on eHealth and Finder,” Hogberg found. “Even after subsidy options were accounted for, 27-year-old males still had access to an average of 18 cheaper policies on both eHealth and Finder, while a 27-year-old female had access to an average of nine on eHealth and eight on Finder.”

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