In the other analysis by HealthPocket, the company looked at prices of the least costly plans in 12 major U.S. counties, and assumed a customer was a 40-year-old nonsmoker buying coverage just for themselves.
Obamacare plans are divided into "metal" tiers, with the cheapest metal "bronze" covering a smaller portion of medical costs for customers than "silver" plans, which in turn cover a lower share of the costs than "gold" plans. "Silver" plans are the most popular, accounting for two-thirds of the plans sold on Obamacare marketplaces.
"Contrary to expectations, the cheapest provider-owned health plans were more expensive on average than the cheapest plans not owned by providers," said Coleman, the HealthPocket lead researcher.
"The cheapest provider-owned silver plans in the 12 counties that HealthPocket examined were 12 percent more expensive [on average] overall than the cheapest silver plans not owned by providers."
For example, in Maricopa County, in Arizona, the lowest premium for a health-care provider-owned "silver" plan was $194.88, compared to the $165.73 for a silver plan not owned by a provider. That's a 17 percent difference in price.
In Oklahoma County, the difference was even more dramatic, with a more than 34 percent difference in the lowest-price "silver" premiums for a provider plan versus the lowest price from a nonprovider.
HealthPocket found that just four counties had providers whose lowest-priced silver plan was cheaper than a comparable nonprovider plan. But the trend wasn't limited to these plans.
"Bronze and gold provider-owned plans were 13 percent more expensive than the cheapest bronze and gold plans not owned by providers," Coleman said.
In both of those metal tiers, there were only two counties where HealthPocket found that the lowest-priced plans offered by providers were less expensive than nonprovider plans.
"The results ... illustrate the sobering reality that the best intentions of reforming American health care do not necessarily produce the cost-savings imagined," the company said in a report on its findings.