Family Health Insurance Premiums Drop for the First Time in Seven Years, According to eHealth's 2012 Report on the Cost and Benefits of Individual & Family Health Insurance

Report Shows a Relative Flattening in Cost Curve for Individual Health Insurance Plans While Average Premiums for Family Coverage Decrease in Twenty States

Marketwired

MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA--(Marketwire - Nov 28, 2012) - Today eHealth, Inc. (NASDAQ: EHTH), parent company of eHealthInsurance, America's first and largest private health insurance exchange for individuals and families, released its annual report, The Cost and Benefits of Individual & Family Health Insurance. According to the report, the average premium paid for family health insurance plans in the United States in 2012 was $412 per month, a decrease of 0.5% compared to 2011; individuals paid average premiums of $190 per month, an increase of 3.8%. The average annual deductible for individually-purchased health insurance plans in 2012 was $3,079 for individuals and $4,079 for families.

The 2012 'Cost and Benefits' report identifies average monthly premiums, annual deductibles and benefit standards for individual and family policies purchased through eHealthInsurance.com in 47 states and the District of Columbia. The report presents an analysis of health insurance plan data from a sample of over 395,000 individual and family major medical policies with coverage in effect as of February 2012. 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 eHealthInsurance. Offering thousands of plans from over 180 health insurance companies, eHealthInsurance 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 first 'Cost and Benefits of Individual Health Insurance Plans' report was issued in 2001.

"Providing all Americans with access to affordable, comprehensive health insurance is a national priority -- and eHealth's goal as America's first private online health insurance exchange," said Gary Lauer, Chairman and CEO of eHealth, Inc. "In this year's Cost and Benefits analysis, we're pleased to report a relative flattening of the cost curve, at the same time that plan benefits and consumer protections have increased due to health reform. For the first time in at least seven years, eHealth is reporting a measurable decrease in the average cost of monthly health insurance premiums for families. This is great news, and you can be sure we'll monitor these trends carefully in the months and years to come."

 Highlights from eHealth, Inc.'s 2012 Cost and Benefits Report:

  • The average monthly premium paid for individual policies nationwide was $190 (a 3.8% increase vs. 2011) while the average premium paid for family policies was $412 (a decrease of 0.5%)

  • For single-person coverage, only three states showed a double-digit percentage increase in average monthly premiums in 2012; seven showed a decrease in average monthly premiums

  • The average deductible for individual policies nationwide was $3,079 per year (a 4.9% increase vs. 2011), and the average deductible for family policies was $4,079 per year (a 5.1% increase)

  • For family coverage, only one state showed a double-digit percentage increase in average monthly premiums -- twenty showed a decrease in average monthly premiums

  • Half of all individual policyholders paid $156 (median) or less per month in premiums, and half of all family policyholders paid $352 (median) or less for monthly premiums

  • The range of average monthly premiums paid for individual plans across the United States fell between $123 in North Dakota and $385 in Massachusetts*

  • The range of average monthly premiums paid for family plans across the United States fell between $269 in Iowa and $965 in Massachusetts*

  • Over seventeen percent (17.8%) of all plans with coverage in effect were HSA-eligible

  • The average premium paid for HSA-eligible plans was $186 for individuals (a 5.1% increase vs. 2011) and $401 for families (a 3.1% increase)

  • Almost all individual or family plan policyholders selected plans that included lab/x-ray (99.2%) and emergency room coverage (99.7%)

  • The majority of individual and family plan policyholders purchased plans that covered prescription drugs (88.1%) and chiropractic care (70.9%)

  • Policyholders also tended to select plans that offered preventive care benefits like OB/GYN (90.5%), periodic exams (88.0%) and well baby coverage (87.1%)

Methodology

eHealth Inc.'s 2012 Cost and Benefits of Individual & Family Health Insurance report analyzes monthly premiums paid for individual and family major medical health insurance policies in 2012 along with the benefits associated with those plans. The 2012 plan data referred to in this report is derived from approximately 395,000 individual and family (IFP) major medical policies purchased through eHealthInsurance that were active in February 2012. For the purposes of comparison, cost data published in prior Cost and Benefits reports is also referenced in the 2012 report.

Analysis provided in the report is based solely on health insurance plans offered and purchased through eHealthInsurance.com. Results may not reflect the full scope of all individual and family health insurance products available nationwide or within a given state.

For more information on report methodology, please refer to the full 2012 report, The Cost & Benefits of Individual and Family Health Insurance Plans.

Notes:
* The states of Hawaii, Rhode Island and Maine 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) is the parent company of eHealthInsurance, America'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 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. 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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