Those who are re-upping for state or federal exchange insurance for 2015 should do comparison shopping before automatically renewing the coverage they had in 2014. Thousands of plans are being offered this year that would enable customers to avoid cost increases in their 2014 plans without giving up any significant coverage.

That's what a study of new plan offerings by found when it reviewed the cost elements of nearly 43,000 2015 plans. In review those plans, said 68 percent of them have announced premium increases for 2015. A further look into plan offerings suggests that most covered individuals could easily find a plan similar to what they have that would keep them at or below their 2014 premium level.

"The study found that 85.6 percent of the federal marketplace plans have at least one similar alternative plan available that would prevent a consumer from paying a premium increase, and would either hold medical deductibles steady or even decrease them in most cases,"'s white paper on the subject said. "More than 70 percent of the federal marketplace plans have an average of 4.8 money-saving alternative plans available. And, on average, those plans can save consumers up to $703.32 a year."

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