As some big name carriers decide to opt out of the exchanges under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, consumers might be missing out on some much cheaper plans.

Researchers from HealthPocket, a company that provides health plan comparisons to consumers, said this week that a lack of  exchange participation by major carriers such as UnitedHealth, Humana, Aetna and Cigna could be driving up rates an average of 23 percent.

"Consumers will need to do some additional digging to make sure they evaluate all their insurance options because those highly competitive choices may only show up outside an exchange in some states," said Kev Coleman, head of research at HealthPocket.

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