Newsroom > Press Releases > 93% of Americans Receiving Health Insurance Subsidies Are Unaware of King vs. Burwell, the Supreme Court Case That May Jeopardize Their Subsidies, eHealth Survey Finds

93% of Americans Receiving Health Insurance Subsidies Are Unaware of King vs. Burwell, the Supreme Court Case That May Jeopardize Their Subsidies, eHealth Survey Finds

Without subsidies, almost 90% of survey respondents say they could not afford their coverage

MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA – June 3, 2015 – Today, eHealth Inc. (NASDAQ: EHTH – www.eHealth.com), America’s first and largest private online health insurance exchange, published data from a survey of individuals who receive premium tax credits to help them pay for their major medical coverage and a survey of individuals enrolled in short-term health insurance plans.

Both surveys were conducted on a voluntary basis by email between April 1 and April 18, 2015. A total of 447 responses were collected from major medical health insurance policy holders who identified themselves in the survey as recipients of government subsidies (also known as premium tax credits). A total of 585 responses were collected from short-term health insurance policy holders. All respondents had purchased their coverage at eHealth.com.

Consumers Receiving Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”) Subsidies

Only seven percent (7%) of survey respondents receiving subsidies to help them pay for their major medical health insurance were aware of the King v. Burwell case currently before the Supreme Court of the United States.  

If the Supreme Court rules for the plaintiffs in this case, it is possible that health insurance subsidies may be at risk for individuals and families who reside in the 37 states that use Healthcare.gov as their state’s exchange.

Among customers who voluntarily identified themselves as subsidy recipients in the survey, eHealth also found that:

  • Nearly nine-in-ten (86%) said they could not afford to pay the full price of their health insurance premiums without subsidies

  • If they lost their subsidies, almost two-thirds (63%) said they would probably go uninsured; about a third (32%) said they would re-shop for a cheaper plan

Consumers Enrolled in Short-Term Health Insurance Plans

Nearly two-thirds (63%) of survey respondents enrolled in short-term health plans said they first considered applying for major medical coverage before turning to short-term coverage instead.

Under the Affordable Care Act, major medical coverage may be unavailable outside of open enrollment unless applicants have experienced a major life event such as a move to a new area, a marriage, or the birth of a child. When they do not qualify for major medical coverage, many consumers turn to short-term plans, even though these do not meet the coverage requirements of the Affordable Care Act.

Among short-term health insurance policy holders that responded to the survey, eHealth found that:                      

  • Nearly two-thirds (63%) said they had considered applying for major medical coverage before turning to short-term coverage

  • Three-quarters (76%) identified the affordability of their premiums as one of the things liked most about short-term coverage

  • About a third (32%) liked that short-term plans covered only those benefits they valued most

  • Among those who had already used their short-term plan (25% of respondents), nearly seven-in-ten (68%) were satisfied with the coverage provided and almost nine-in-ten (89%) were able to see the doctor of their choice with their plan

Survey Methodology: Both surveys were conducted on a voluntary basis by email. Emails were sent on April 1, 2015 to customers enrolled in major medical health plans and short-term health insurance plans. Responses were collected through April 18, 2015. A total of 553 eHealth customers enrolled in major medical health insurance plans responded to the major medical policy holder survey, including 447 who self-identified as having received a government subsidy (also known as premium tax credits). A total of 585 eHealth customers enrolled in a short-term health insurance plan responded to the survey of short-term policy holders, which was conducted between April 6 and April 18, 2015. All respondents had purchased their coverage at eHealth.com.


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About eHealth
eHealth, Inc. (NASDAQ: EHTH) owns eHealth.com, 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. eHealth offers thousands of individual, family and small business health plans underwritten by many of the nation's leading health insurance companies. eHealth (through its subsidiaries) is licensed to sell health insurance in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. eHealth also offers educational resources and 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), eHealthMedicare.com (www.eHealthMedicare.com) and Medicare.com (www.Medicare.com).

For more health insurance news and information, visit the eHealth consumer blog: Get Smart - Get Covered or visit eHealth's Consumer Resource Center.

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements, including statements regarding a possible outcome of the Supreme Court case King v. Burwell. These forward-looking statements involve certain risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those indicated in such forward-looking statements, including but not limited to: the final outcome of the court case King v. Burwell and any other litigation related to the Affordable Care Act; the political, legislative, regulatory or other governmental or official responses to such litigation; the effect of any such litigation on consumers, insurance brokers and agents, insurance carriers, and insurance markets, particularly with respect to short-term health insurance; any new or revised laws or regulations or other actions taken by federal and state regulatory agencies, including the Department of Treasury, the Internal Revenue Service, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and state departments of insurance; and other potential changes in laws, regulations and regulatory guidance.  Other risks and uncertainties that can affect actual results are included under the captions “Risk Factors” and “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” in eHealth’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2014 and most recent Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q, which are on file with the SEC and are available on the investor relations page of eHealth’s website at http://www.ehealthinsurance.com and on the Securities and Exchange Commission’s website at www.sec.gov. All information provided in this press release is as of the date of this press release, and we undertake no duty to update this information unless required by law.