SUNNYVALE,Calif.,April 21, 2004 – eHealthInsurance, the nation’s leading source of health insurance for individuals, families and small businesses, today released its sixth semi-annual report on the cost and comprehensiveness of health insurance plans purchased by individuals and families. The report is based on a sample of 62,000 policies purchased through eHealthInsurance.com, on which premiums were paid in the preceding months since its last report in August of 2003. It reveals that the cost families paid for short-term health insurance in the last six months averaged $153 per month, which represents a 16 percent decrease compared to the prior six months. Premiums paid for major medical insurance by families increased only four percent in the same period. In the last 12 months, the average premium paid by families who purchased major medical insurance through eHealthInsurance.com has increased by $2, to $288 per month. Nearly 90 percent of family plans sampled had comprehensive benefits, including doctor office visits, hospitalization, and lab services.
American consumers continue to purchase health insurance plans with higher deductible levels, a trend that shows that many people are ready for the new Health Savings Accounts, introduced in January 2004 as part of the government’s Medicare drug legislation. Health Savings Accounts, or HSAs, are tax-advantaged savings accounts much like Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs). They are available to eligible individuals who have a qualified health insurance plan with an annual deductible of at least $1,000 for an individual or $2,000 for a family. Fifty-seven percent of individuals in the sample studied for this report selected HSA deductible-level health insurance plans and nearly 40 percent of families chose deductible levels that would enable them to use HSAs – and HSAs had only been available for two months of this study.
“It is encouraging that this report’s findings show that families are saving money on short-term health insurance and holding down costs on major medical insurance,” said Gary Lauer, CEO of eHealthInsurance. “As families become more educated about the new Health Savings Accounts and the savings they can achieve in the short-and long-term, I believe many consumers will eagerly move to this new health care financing and tax savings solution.”
The eHealthInsurance study also found that the percentage of individual policies studied for this report that have comprehensive benefits increased by 3%, while the price individuals paid for the policies for that coverage has only increased $3, to $151 per month.
In its semi-annual Cost and Comprehensiveness of Individual Health Insurance Plans report, the company selected and analyzed a sample of more than 62,000 individual and family health insurance policies purchased through www.eHealthInsurance.com on which premiums were paid in the preceding months since its last report in August 2003. Consumers chose their policies from carriers and plans available in their state. Nationally, eHealthInsurance.com features more than 4,000 plans from 140 of the nation’s leading health insurance providers.
To view the full report on the Cost and Comprehensiveness of Individual and Family Health Insurance go to www.eHealthInsurance.com. To learn more about Health Savings Accounts, see a related press release issued today by eHealthInsurance at /content/pressNew/HSAReleaseFinal0420041.shtml or go to the eHealthInsurance HSA Learning Center from the site’s home page.
Since its founding in 1997, eHealthInsurance Services, Inc. (www.eHealthInsurance.com) has become the nation’s leading source of health insurance for individuals, families and small businesses. The company sells health insurance in states that represent about 98 percent of the U.S. population. eHealthInsurance offers more than 4,000 health plans underwritten by more than 140 of the nation’s leading health insurance companies. The company is headquartered in Sunnyvale, CA and has a customer care team of more than 100 representatives and licensed professionals that assist consumers before, during and after the purchase of health insurance plans.
eHealthInsurance.com is a registered trademark of eHealthInsurance Services, Inc.