Health insurance exchanges, once touted as the future of health care, have proven to be anything but a perfect solution for consumers. Although both public and private exchanges have given consumers more options and, with the Affordable Care Act's tax subsidies, have significantly expanded the number of insured Americans, unintended consequences remain.

Among these are resistance from large insurers, who say the individual market has not stabilized and has dumped too many sick people into the ACA exchanges. UnitedHealth Group (UHG), the nation's largest private insurer, has pulled most of its ACA exchange products, and other large insurers, including Humana, have also retreated from the individual market, citing higher-than-expected costs.

Many insurers who remain in the ACA marketplace have asked for double-digit increases in premiums this year, and both the public and private exchanges have seen more cost pushed onto the consumer in the form of higher deductibles and copays. In addition, brokers — who have been invaluable in helping consumers navigate both kinds of exchanges — have seen fees from carriers cut back or even eliminated.

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