Newsroom > Press Releases > Individual Health Insurance Market Data: Half of Individual Policyholders Paid $134 or Less per Month; Half of Policyholders Paid $334 or Less per Month

Individual Health Insurance Market Data: Half of Individual Policyholders Paid $134 or Less per Month; Half of Policyholders Paid $334 or Less per Month

MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA--(March 31, 2010) - eHealth, Inc. (NASDAQ: EHTH), parent company of eHealthInsurance (http://www.ehealthinsurance.com), today released updated data on the cost of individually-purchased health insurance policies for individuals and families. The findings appear in The Cost of Individual and Family Health Insurance Plans 2010 Update, an internal evaluation of eHealth, Inc.'s data.
 
A copy of the report is available online in eHealth’s media center at news.ehealthinsurance.com
 
The analysis provides factual data on average and median premiums paid for individual health insurance policies and average deductibles for those policies. The research, based on a nationwide sample of over 360,000 individual and family (IFP) major medical policies that were purchased through eHealthInsurance and active in August 2009 and over 316,000 policies active in February 2009 revealed the following insights:
 
Individual Plan Data
Average Premiums
  • In August of 2009, the average monthly premium for individual policies was $164
  • In February of 2009, the average monthly premium for individual policies was $161
  • Average premiums for individual policies increased 1.8 percent over that time.
 Median Premiums
  • In August of 2009, the median monthly premium for individual policies was $134
  • In February of 2009, the median monthly premium for individual policies was $132
  • Median premiums for individual policies increased 1.5 percent over that time.
 Average Deductibles
  • In August of 2009, the average deductibles for individual policies was $2,477
  • In February of 2009, the average deductibles for individual policies was $2,326
  • Average deductibles for individual policies increased 5.2 percent over that time.
Family Plan Data
Average Premiums
  • In August of 2009, the average monthly premium for family policies was $388
  • In February of 2009, the average monthly premium for family policies was $383
  • Average premiums for family policies increased 1.3 percent over that time.
Median Premiums
  • In August of 2009, the median monthly premium for family policies was $334
  • In February of 2009, the median monthly premium for family policies was $331
  • Median premiums for family policies increased 1.3 percent over that time.
Average Deductibles
  • In August of 2009, the average deductibles for family policies was $3,335
  • In February of 2009, the average deductibles for family policies was $3,128
  • Average deductibles for family policies increased 6.6 percent over that time.
HAS-Eligible Plan Data
  • In August of 2009, 15.7percent of individual policies were HSA eligible
  • In February of 2009, 16 percent of individual policies were HSA eligible
Average HSA Premiums for Individuals
  • In August of 2009, the average monthly premium for HSA eligible individual policies was $149.
  • In February of 2009, the average monthly premium for HSA eligible individual policies was $143
  • Average premiums for HSA eligible individual plans increased 4.1 percent over that time.
Average HSA Premiums for Families
  • In August of 2009, the average monthly premium for HSA eligible family policies was $340
  • In February of 2009, the average monthly premium for HSA eligible family policies was $331
  • Average premiums for HSA eligible family plans increased 2.7 percent over that time.
Individual Health Insurance vs. Group Health Insurance Coverage: How do they differ?
This latest eHealth Cost of Individual and Family Health Insurance Plans 2009 Update provides a subset of the data eHealth publishes in its annual Cost & Benefits Report. eHealth has been publishing studies like this since 2001 with the goal of providing a nationwide perspective on cost and benefit trends in the individual health insurance market, based on an analysis of a large, geographically distributed sample of insurance policies purchased through eHealthInsurance. It is estimated that 18 million Americans are covered through individual plans1.
 
The cost of individual and family health insurance policies reported in our study differs significantly from the cost of employer-sponsored, or “group” health insurance coverage due to several differences between the individual market and the employer-sponsored market, which may impact the premiums that consumers experience. Many of these factors could be impacted by recently-enacted health care reform legislation.
 
Some of those differences include:
Guaranteed Issue: Every employee who applies for health insurance through their employer is accepted but in the individual market, with the exception of a few states, plans are medically underwritten and applicants can be denied coverage.
 
Tax Exemption: Health insurance premiums are not tax-deductible for individuals or families purchasing coverage on their own, but they are tax-deductible for companies that pay for health insurance coverage for employees and premiums paid by employees are paid on a pre-tax basis.
 
Benefits: Individual market plans offer comparable benefits to employer plans: hospitalization, emergency room coverage, lab x-ray, maternity care, OB/GYN coverage, physician visits, pharmaceutical coverage, and preventative care. The majority of plans surveyed in our 2008 report entitled, "Cost And Benefits Of Individual And Family Health Insurance Plans," include most of these benefits. However, in the individual market the level of benefits is typically selected by the consumer based on their individual needs.
 
Cost-sharing
Individuals and families purchasing coverage on their own, tend to select plans with higher deductibles and coinsurance costs in order to keep their premiums low as compared with employer provided plans.
 
Methodology
The 2008, August 2009 and February 2009 plan data referred to in The Cost of Individual and Family Health Insurance Plans 2010 Update is derived from over 366,000 active individual and family (IFP) major medical policies purchased through eHealthInsurance that were active in August 2009, 316,000 policies that were active in February 2009 and 258,000 policies that were active in February 2008. The report analyzes monthly premiums paid on individual and family major medical health insurance policies in 2008 August 2009 and February 2009.
 
For more information on methodology, please refer to the report located in the research section of news.eHealthInsurance.com. Click on the “Research” link on the left side of the page and look for this report under “Cost and Benefits”
 
Footnote: 1Source: U.S. Census Bureau estimates ("Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2007," Issued August 2008).
 
About eHealth, Inc.:
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.  Information and resources are available on various health plans, ranging from individual and family, short-term medical, and Medicare insurance.  Consumers can get quotes from leading health insurance carriers, compare plans side by side, and apply for and purchase health insurance.  eHealthInsurance is an online marketplace licensed to sell health insurance in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.  eHealthInsurance and eHealth are registered trademarks of eHealthInsurance Services, Inc.  For more information, see www.ehealthinsurance.com.