How Much Does Health Insurance Cost? The Average Premium for Individual Coverage in 2011 Was $183 per Month, eHealth Study Finds

eHealth, Inc. 2011 Cost and Benefits Report Released -- Families With Their Own Health Insurance Plans Paid $414 per Month on Average in 2011

Marketwired

MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA--(Marketwire -11/02/11)- According to the 'Cost & Benefits of Individual and Family Health Insurance Plans' report, released today by eHealth, Inc. (NASDAQ: EHTH - News), the average premium paid for individual health insurance coverage in the United States in 2011 was $2,196 per year ($183 per month); families paid an average annual premium of $4,968 ($414 per month). The report also found that the average deductible for individually-purchased health insurance plans in 2011 was $2,935 for individuals and $3,879 for families.

The Cost & Benefits of Individual and Family Health Insurance Plans identifies average premiums, deductibles and benefit standards for individually-purchased health insurance plans. The report presents an analysis of health insurance plan data from a sample of over 384,000 individual and family major medical policies purchased through eHealthInsurance.com and active as of February 2011. The full report is available for review in the eHealth Media Center.

The objective of eHealth's Cost & Benefits report is to provide a nationwide perspective on cost and benefit trends in the individual health insurance market, based on the analysis of a large, geographically distributed sample of consumer health insurance policies purchased through eHealthInsurance.com. The first 'Cost and Benefits of Individual Health Insurance Plans' report was issued by eHealthInsurance in 2001. Licensed in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, eHealthInsurance is one of the few organizations with national source data that can best reflect consumer buying patterns and purchase prices in the individual and family health insurance market.

"With the economy still uncertain and some employers struggling to provide benefits for employees and their dependants, access to affordable, quality health coverage is a critical concern for American families," said Gary Lauer, president and CEO of eHealth, Inc. "Our Cost & Benefits report provides valuable information on consumer costs and a clear picture of what people choose to purchase when they have the opportunity to view multiple products side-by-side in an online marketplace. At a time when every dollar counts, we believe that providing consumers with transparency into costs and benefits enables them to make the best health insurance choices for themselves."

Report Highlights -- Active Policies Surveyed in February 2011:

  • The average monthly premium paid for individual policies was $183, while the average premium paid for family policies was $414.
  • Between February 2010 and February 2011, the average premium increased 9.6% for individuals and 5.6% for families.
  • The average deductible for individual policies was $2,935, and the average deductible for family policies was $3,879.
  • Between February 2010 and February 2011, the average deductible increased 11.5% for individual policies and 9.9% for families.
  • Half of all individual policyholders paid $149 or less per month in premiums, and half of all family policy holders paid $353 or less for monthly premiums.
  • The average plan lifetime limit per member was $4.2 million. This average applies only to policies with specified limits. Though provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will phase out lifetime limits for most covered medical services, this report surveys policies in effect as of February 2011.
  • The range of average monthly premiums paid for individual plans across the United States fell between $119 in Iowa and $382 in New York*.
  • The range of average monthly premiums paid for family plans across the United States fell between $261 in Iowa and $932 in New York*.
  • More than a third (37.9%) of individual plan policyholders had an annual deductible of $2,000 or less.
  • Between February 2010 and February 2011 the average age of policyholders increased by 1.9 years.
  • Over seventeen percent (17.3%) of all plans were HSA-eligible.
  • The average premium paid for HSA-eligible plans was $177 for individuals and $389 for families.
  • Almost 100% of individual or family plan policyholders selected plans that included lab and x-ray (98.9%) and emergency room coverage (99.9%).
  • The majority of individual and family plan policyholders purchased plans that covered prescription drugs (88.4%) and chiropractic coverage (72.4%).
  • Policyholders also tended to select plans that offered preventive care benefits like OB/GYN (92.0%), periodic exams (89.3%) and well baby coverage (88.3%).

Average Monthly Premiums by State

The 2011 'Cost & Benefits of Individual and Family Health Insurance Plans' report identifies average monthly premiums and annual deductibles for individual and family policies purchased through eHealthInsurance.com in 46 states and the District of Columbia. These states include: AK, AL, AR, AZ, CA, CO, CT, DC, DE, FL, GA, IA, ID, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, MI, MN, MO, MS, MT, NC, ND, NE, NH, NJ, NM, NV, NY, OH, OK, OR, PA, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VA, WA, WI, WV and WY.

Methodology Notes

  • The 2011 plan data referred to in this report is derived from approximately 384,000 individual and family (IFP) major medical policies purchased through eHealthInsurance that were active in February 2011.
  • The 2010 plan data referred to in this report is derived from approximately 384,000 individual and family (IFP) major medical policies purchased through eHealthInsurance that were active in February 2010.
  • The 2009 plan data referred to in this report is derived from approximately 317,000 individual and family (IFP) major medical policies purchased through eHealthInsurance that were active in August 2009.
  • This report analyzes monthly premiums paid on individual and family major medical health insurance policies in 2009, 2010, and 2011 along with the benefits associated with those plans.
  • The data contained in this report represents only those consumers who shopped for and purchased health insurance through eHealthInsurance.com.

For more information on report methodology, please refer to the full 2011 'Cost & Benefits of Individual and Family Health Insurance Plans' report.

Notes:
* The states of Hawaii, Maine, Rhode Island and Vermont were excluded from consideration in this report due to sample sizes of fewer than 100 active policies purchased through eHealthInsurance.com.

About eHealth
eHealth, Inc. (NASDAQ: EHTH - News) is the parent company of eHealthInsurance, the nation's leading online source of health insurance for individuals, families and small businesses. Through the company's website, www.eHealthInsurance.com, consumers can get quotes from leading health insurance carriers, compare plans side by side, and apply for and purchase health insurance. eHealthInsurance offers thousands of individual, family and small business health plans underwritten by more than 180 of the nation's leading health insurance companies. eHealthInsurance is licensed to sell health insurance in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, making it the ideal model of a successful, high-functioning health insurance exchange. Through the company's eHealthTechnology solution (www.eHealthTechnology.com), eHealth is also a leading provider of health insurance exchange technology. eHealthTechnology's exchange platform provides a suite of hosted e-commerce solutions that enable health plan providers, resellers and government entities to market and distribute products online. eHealth, Inc. also provides powerful online and pharmacy-based tools to help seniors navigate Medicare health insurance options, choose the right plan and enroll in select plans online through its wholly-owned subsidiary, PlanPrescriber.com (www.planprescriber.com) and through its Medicare website www.eHealthMedicare.com.

For more health insurance news and information, visit the eHealthInsurance consumer blog: Get Smart - Get Covered.

Contact:
For media inquiries, please contact:
Sande Drew
eHealth, Inc.
(916) 207-7674
sande.drew@ehealth.com
Kris Kraves
Cogenta Communications
(805) 527-7733 - direct
kris@cogentacom.com

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