Managing Managed Care

Americans Want Obamacare Competition, But Millions of Exchange Customers Will Face No Insurer Choices in 2018

Health Benefits Plans & Short-Term Health Insurance Are Top Two Coverage Alternatives

MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA–(Marketwired – Jul 24, 2017) – Last week the government released data revealing that Obamacare exchange customers will be limited to one insurance company option in 1,332 counties across the nation.

Single-insurer markets will comprise over 40 percent of U.S. counties, likely affecting over 2.3 million exchange customers, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. The news of the latest reduction in Obamacare insurers comes on the heels of an poll finding that Americans want more health insurance competition and plan choices. In fact, 82 percent of adults surveyed rejected Obamacare as the only private health plan option.

Given the combination of limited exchange options and widespread consumer preference for Obamacare competition, is raising awareness of the top two health insurance options other than Affordable Care Act (ACA) insurance — health benefits insurance and short-term health insurance.

What are the options?

Health benefit insurance is a combination of established insurance products (e.g., hospital, doctor, accident and critical illness) that can offset out-of-pocket costs and lost income by paying a set amount of money when the enrollee experiences covered medical events. Health benefit plans also include additional non-insurance benefits such as telemedicine services and can be used alongside all other forms of health insurance. Short-term health insurance is flexible and low-cost major medical insurance for individuals without expensive pre-existing health conditions.

“It is simply not acceptable that government exchange consumers in over 40 percent of the counties in America will be restricted to one Obamacare insurer option starting this open enrollment period,” said Bruce Telkamp, co-founder and CEO of “Health insurance shoppers in these single-insurer counties are at higher risk for exorbitant Obamacare premiums as well as narrow Obamacare provider networks that exclude their preferred doctors and hospital. Consumers do have other health plan choices off the government exchanges, and they need to be made aware of those options. We’re stepping up our outreach in these impacted counties to raise awareness of the affordability and flexibility of health benefit insurance and short-term health insurance. We believe these insurance plans provide critical choice for consumers within affected areas, and our new online shopping experience on is the ideal place for consumers to compare and toggle between a broad portfolio of short-term and health benefit insurance plans.”

While ACA plans have broad consumer awareness, alternative coverage choices have existed in the American insurance market for decades

While ACA plans have broad consumer awareness, alternative coverage choices have existed in the American insurance market for decades.

These non-ACA options are health benefits insurance, short-term health insurance and healthcare sharing ministries. Of these three alternatives, only short-term plans and health benefit plans are technically health insurance while healthcare sharing ministries are organizations that spread medical costs across participating members and do not carry reinsurance in case claims exceed member resources.’s recent poll on awareness of non-Obamacare health coverage found health benefits insurance and short-term health insurance had the highest levels of familiarity and awareness among consumers nationally. is a Silicon Valley-based technology company and independently managed division of Health Insurance Innovations, Inc. (NASDAQ: HIIQ). AgileHealthInsurance was created to educate consumers on the availability of affordable health insurance coverage and to provide an industry best process for comparing and purchasing these health plans.