eHealth Report Provides Final Look at Individual & Family Health Insurance Costs Before 2014 Reforms

Average Individual Health Insurance Premium $197 per Month, an Increase of 3.7% From 2012, According to eHealth's 2013 "Cost and Benefits" Report

Marketwired

MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA--(Marketwired - Dec 30, 2013) - eHealth, Inc. (NASDAQ: EHTH) (www.ehealth.com), which operates eHealthInsurance.com, the nation's first and largest private online health insurance exchange, today published its annual report on the cost and benefits of individual and family health insurance. The 2013 report provides a final look at costs and coverage in the individual and family market prior to the implementation of the Affordable Care Act's major 2014 provisions, and includes a review of costs for plans offering richer "comprehensive" benefits.

  • According to the report, the average premium paid for individual health insurance nationwide in 2013 was $197 per month, an increase of 3.7% over 2012. Premiums for individually-purchased family plans increased 3.4% to a national average of $426 per month.

  • By contrast, the average premium paid for plans offering richer "comprehensive coverage" benefits (as defined by eHealth) was $247 per month for individual policies or $544 per month for family policies.

  • eHealth found that the average annual deductible for an individual plan in 2013 was $3,319 per year, a 7.8% increase vs. 2012; while the average deductible for family policies increased 3.7% to a nationwide average of $4,230 in 2013.

"The release of our 2013 Cost and Benefits report is a milestone event," said eHealth CEO Gary Lauer. "The headline provisions of the Affordable Care Act -- such as the individual mandate, the availability of subsidies, and the prohibition against declining applicants based on pre-existing medical conditions -- will transform the health insurance market in January 2014. Our report provides a last look at a market on the verge of radical change, when adjustments to costs and coverage levels and consumer access will forever alter the way we think about self-purchased health insurance."

The 2013 Cost and Benefits of Individual and Family Health Insurance report identifies average monthly premiums, annual deductibles and benefit levels for individual and family policies purchased through eHealth in 47 states and the District of Columbia. The report presents an analysis of 2013 health insurance plan data from a sample of over 423,000 individual and family major medical policies with coverage in effect as of February 2013. The full report is available for download at the eHealth Media Center.

The objective of eHealth's "Cost and Benefits" report is to provide a nationwide perspective on cost and benefit trends in the individually-purchased health insurance market based on a large, geographically distributed sample of consumer health insurance policies purchased through eHealth. Offering thousands of plans from over 180 health insurance companies, eHealth is one of the few organizations with national source data reflecting consumer buying patterns and purchase prices in the individual and family health insurance market. The company's first Cost and Benefits of Individual Health Insurance Plans report was issued in 2001.

Highlights from the 2013 Cost and Benefits report include the following.

On premiums and deductibles:

  • The average premium paid nationwide for individual policies was $197 per month (a 3.7% increase vs. 2012), while the average premium paid for family policies was $426 per month (an increase of 3.4%)

  • The average deductible for individual policies nationwide was $3,319 per year (a 7.8% increase vs. 2012), and the average deductible for family policies was $4,230 per year (a 3.7% increase)

  • The average premium paid for policies offering richer "comprehensive coverage"* was $247 per month for individual plans or $544 per month for family plans

  • Half of all individual policy holders paid $163 (median) or less per month in premiums, and half of all family policy holders paid $362 (median) or less for monthly premiums

  • Women paid monthly health insurance premiums for individual plans that were $33 higher on average ($396 per year) than those paid by men

  • The range of average monthly premiums paid for individual plans across the United States fell between $133 in North Dakota and $381 in Massachusetts**

  • The range of average monthly premiums paid for family plans across the United States fell between $284 in Alabama and $914 in Massachusetts**

On plans eligible for use with Health Savings Accounts (HSAs):

  • Over seventeen percent (17.4%) of all plans with coverage in effect were HSA-eligible

  • For the first time, the average premium paid for HSA-eligible individual plans ($200 -- a 7.5% increase vs. 2012) was greater than the average premium paid for non-HSA individual plans

  • The average premium paid for HSA-eligible family plans was $422 (a 5.2% increase over 2012)

On benefits provided by individual and family plans:

  • Almost all individual or family plan policy holders selected plans that included lab/x-ray (99.4%) and emergency room coverage (99.9%)

  • The majority of individual and family plan policy holders purchased plans that covered prescription drugs (88.1%) and chiropractic care (72.8%)

  • Policy holders also tended to select plans that offered preventive care benefits like OB/GYN (91.8%), periodic exams (89.1%) and well baby coverage (88.4%)

Top-10 states** with lowest average premiums for individual coverage in 2013:

1. North Dakota - Average monthly premium: $133
2. Alabama - Average monthly premium: $135
3. Iowa - Average monthly premium: $136
4/5. Kansas - Average monthly premium: $146
4/5. South Dakota - Average monthly premium: $146
6. Missouri - Average monthly premium: $147
7. Minnesota - Average monthly premium: $152
8. Kentucky - Average monthly premium: $153
9. Arkansas - Average monthly premium: $154
10. Nebraska - Average monthly premium: $157

Top-10 states** with lowest average premiums for family coverage in 2013:

1. Alabama - Average monthly premium: $284
2. Iowa - Average monthly premium: $290
3. Arizona - Average monthly premium: $291
4. Missouri - Average monthly premium: $301
5. Arkansas - Average monthly premium: $314
6. South Dakota - Average monthly premium: $315
7. Michigan - Average monthly premium: $324
8. Kentucky - Average monthly premium: $330
9. Kansas - Average monthly premium: $331
10. Ohio - Average monthly premium: $332

eHealth's full 2013 Cost and Benefits of Individual and Family Health Insurance report can be downloaded here or through the eHealth Media Center.

Notes:

* Comprehensive coverage plans offer a richer set of benefits compared to other plans, as determined by eHealth. For more information on eHealth's use of the term "comprehensive coverage" please refer to the Methodology Supplement contained in the 2013 'Cost and Benefits' report.
** The states of Hawaii, Rhode Island and Maine were excluded from consideration due to the small size of policies purchased through eHealthInsurance.com in each state.

About eHealth
eHealth, Inc. (NASDAQ: EHTH) operates eHealthInsurance, the Nation's first and largest private health insurance exchange where individuals, families and small businesses can compare health insurance products from leading insurers side by side and purchase and enroll in coverage online. eHealthInsurance offers thousands of individual, family and small business health plans underwritten by more than 200 of the nation's leading health insurance companies. eHealthInsurance is licensed to sell health insurance in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. eHealth, Inc. also provides powerful online and pharmacy-based tools to help Medicare beneficiaries navigate Medicare health insurance options, choose the right plan and enroll in select plans online through PlanPrescriber.com (www.planprescriber.com) and eHealthMedicare.com (www.eHealthMedicare.com).

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

Contact:
For media inquiries, please contact:

Nate Purpura
eHealth, Inc.
(650) 210-3115
Nate.Purpura@ehealth.com

Brian Mast
eHealth, Inc.
(650) 210-3149
brian.mast@ehealth.com

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