Newsroom > Press Releases > COBRA Subsidy Expiration: Research Shows Similarly Priced Alternatives to Subsidized COBRA for Individuals in Most States

COBRA Subsidy Expiration: Research Shows Similarly Priced Alternatives to Subsidized COBRA for Individuals in Most States

New eHealth Research Shows Average State-Level Premiums for Non-Group Individual Health Insurance Plans Are Comparable to Subsidized COBRA Premiums
 
MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA--(December 16, 2009) - Today eHealth, Inc. (NASDAQ: EHTH) released a new comparison of subsidized individual COBRA premiums and non-group health insurance premiums for individuals using data derived from eHealth's December 2009 Cost and Benefits Report(1) and a Families USA Foundation report released in January 2009.
 
The data in the eHealth (www.ehealthinsurance.com) report, when compared to COBRA subsidy data released by Families USA on January 9, 2009, show that the average individual premium of $161 is twenty-five dollars ($25) more expensive than the average subsidized COBRA premium of $136, and $227 less than the average unsubsidized COBRA premium of $388.
 
Premiums are an important element of health insurance policy, but the benefits provided by that policy are critical to gauging the value of any coverage purchased. According to the data in the eHealth report, the plans that individuals elected to purchase provided access to many important benefits. They include Labs & X-rays (99.0 percent); E.R. visits (99.9 percent); prescription drugs (89.6 percent); OB/GYN coverage (93.0 percent); periodic exams (89.5 percent); Well Baby coverage (87.7 percent); and chiropractic care (74.2 percent).
 
Maternity benefits were covered in 22.1% of policies surveyed, with nearly half (46.6 percent) of primary policy holders being women. Seven states (NY, NJ, MA, MT, MN, OR and WA) mandate that every non-group major medical insurance policy sold cover maternity benefits. In most other states maternity coverage is an optional benefit consumers can elect to purchase if needed. Maternity benefits are not always available in every state.
 
To view a full copy of eHealth's Cost and Benefits of Individual and Family Health Insurance Plans 2009 report, click here. You can also search for the report by name at news.ehealthinsurance.com.
 
eHealthInsurance.com encourages consumers who are losing access to their COBRA subsidies to proactively research their long-term options for health coverage by taking the following actions:
  • Do your homework: Research non-group health insurance policies at eHealthInsurance.com.
  • Get advice if you need it: First-time buyers should get help by contacting an agent or broker and by using free online resources like eHealth's "Health Insurance Buyer's Guide."
  • Know your timeline: Calculate the amount of time you have remaining on the COBRA subsidy using eHealth's COBRA Subsidy Calendar widget.
  • Don't let pre-existing conditions scare you: If you've got pre-existing medical conditions contact the Foundation for Health Coverage Education (www.CoverageForAll.org) to review free or low-cost options available in your area.
  • Get informed: If you have medical debt or need help understanding your rights, eHealth encourages you to review Families USA's consumer guide: Your Medical Bills: A Consumer's Guide to Coping with Medical Debt.
The data identifies the average premiums for COBRA, subsidized COBRA and non-group individual health insurance plans in 46 states and the District of Columbia. All non-group policies surveyed were purchased through the leading online market place of health insurance for individuals, families and small businesses, eHealthInsurance.com (http://www.ehealthinsurance.com).
 
State
Average Monthly Individual  COBRA Premium1
Average Monthly Subsidized COBRA Premium2
Average Monthly Premium
Non-Group Individual Health Insurance Plan3
Average Individual
$388
$136
$161
Alabama
$372
$130
$122
Alaska
$428
$150
$182
Arizona
$403
$141
$139
Arkansas
$336
$118
$117
California
$380
$133
$150
Colorado
$379
$133
$145
Connecticut
$415
$145
$188
Delaware
$444
$155
$151
D.C.
$428
$150
$144
Florida
$371
$130
$162
Georgia
$365
$128
$166
*Hawaii
$334
$117
NA
Idaho
$337
$118
$122
Illinois
$400
$140
$147
Indiana
$376
$132
$140
Iowa
$369
$129
$103
Kansas
$361
$126
$119
Kentucky
$357
$125
$117
Louisiana
$371
$130
$140
*Maine
$439
$154
NA
Maryland
$370
$130
$148
*Massachusetts
$419
$147
NA
Michigan
$419
$147
$123
Minnesota
$375
$131
$134
Mississippi
$349
$122
$150
Missouri
$373
$131
$121
Montana
$391
$137
$158
Nebraska
$367
$128
$132
Nevada
$338
$118
$166
New Hampshire
$436
$153
$182
New Jersey
$421
$147
$274
New Mexico
$380
$133
$136
New York
$434
$152
$339
North Carolina
$380
$133
$140
*North Dakota
$357
$125
NA
Ohio
$382
$134
$126
Oklahoma
$374
$131
$133
Oregon
$388
$136
$167
Pennsylvania
$403
$141
$155
*Rhode Island
$433
$152
NA
South Carolina
$378
$132
$149
South Dakota
$371
$130
$137
Tennessee
$353
$124
$148
Texas
$390
$137
$164
Utah
$363
$127
$125
*Vermont
$407
$142
NA
Virginia
$386
$135
$154
Washington
$382
$134
$185
West Virginia
$410
$144
$171
Wisconsin
$400
$140
$129
Wyoming
$434
$152
$146
 
(1) SOURCE: eHealth, Inc.'s 2009 Report: The Cost and Benefits of Individual and Family Health Insurance Plans Report: Surveys approximately 233,000 major medical, non-group individual plans that were active in February, 2009.
(http://news.ehealthinsurance.com/pr/ehi/document/Cost_and_Benefit_Report_2009.pdf)
(2) Families USA Foundation's January 2009 report: Squeezed! Caught between Unemployment Benefits And Health Care Costs: http://www.familiesusa.org/resources/newsroom/press-releases/2009-press-releases/cobra-premiums-for-family.html
(3) Calculated by multiplying the state-level COBRA premiums provided in the Families USA Foundation report(2) by 0.35.
 
About eHealth
eHealth, Inc. (NASDAQ: EHTH) 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, http://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 health plans underwritten by more than 180 of the nation's leading health insurance companies. eHealthInsurance is an online marketplace licensed to sell health insurance in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, making it an excellent model for successful, high-functioning health insurance exchanges. Through its eCommerce On-Demand solution (eOD), www.ehealth.com/eOD, eHealth is also a leading provider of on-demand e-commerce software services. eHealth's eOD platform provides a suite of hosted solutions that enable health plan providers and resellers to market and distribute products online. eHealth's eCommerce On-Demand solution is currently available to health plan providers in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. eHealthInsurance and eHealth are registered trademarks of eHealthInsurance Services, Inc.