Newsroom > Press Releases > eHealth CEO Scott Flanders Applauds Senate HELP Committee for Highlighting How Prescription Drug Prices Impact Consumers

eHealth CEO Scott Flanders Applauds Senate HELP Committee for Highlighting How Prescription Drug Prices Impact Consumers

Prescription Drug Coverage Optimization Tools Could Save Health Insurance Shoppers Hundreds of Dollars Per Year, According to eHealth Reports

MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA – October 17, 2017 – eHealth, Inc. (NASDAQ: EHTH) (eHealth.com) CEO Scott Flanders today commended the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions for holding a hearing entitled: The Cost of Prescription Drugs: How the Drug Delivery System Affects What Patients Pay.

“I applaud Chairman Alexander and ranking member Murray for focusing much-needed attention on how prescription drug prices are affecting consumers. Millions of Americans, especially seniors, understand these challenges first-hand. What is less understood is how new technologies can save seniors hundreds of dollars a year,” Flanders said.

“When using our online prescription drug tool at eHealth.com, seniors eligible for Medicare could save more than $500 per year on average in prescription drug costs, according to our research. Individuals and families not on Medicare, meanwhile, discovered more than $1,600 per year in median potential savings on prescription drugs in our research. That’s great news for consumers and an example of how the market is innovating and leading the way on reform,” Flanders continued. “Policymakers are right to look for ways to help consumers with drug prices. I’m proud that our tools at eHealth.com are part of the solution.”

In 2017 eHealth published two reports on the potential savings to be found when consumers select their Medicare insurance plans or individual and family health insurance based on a focused consideration of only their personal prescription drug needs.

eHealth’s online prescription drug comparison tools allow health insurance shoppers to enter the details of their personal drug regimens and see which of the insurance options offered through eHealth will provide them with coverage of their drugs at the lowest out-of-pocket cost based on the data available on the eHealth platform.

A summary of eHealth’s findings are provided below.

Rx Savings for Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage

For prescription drug savings among persons shopping for Medicare prescription drug coverage, eHealth analyzed over 30,000 anonymous user sessions during Medicare’s 2017 Annual Election Period, which took place between October 15 and December 7, 2016. Users identified their current Medicare prescription drug coverage and described their personal drug regimen to learn if they could reduce their out-of-pocket costs by switching to a different stand-alone Medicare Prescription Drug (PDP or Part D) plan or Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug (MA-PD) plan. In calculating total potential savings, eHealth considered relevant data loaded in eHealth’s platforms for monthly premiums, co-payments, coinsurance, and deductibles for various plans as well as estimates of retail prescription drug prices in various locations and discovered the following:

  • 90% of Medicare prescription drug comparison tool users could find potential savings on prescription drug costs if they chose to switch to a different plan.
  • $541 was the average annual savings identified by the tool for MA-PD and PDP shoppers combined.

Considering potential savings for MAPD and PDP shoppers separately, eHealth found the following:

Savings with Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug (MA-PD) plans

  • 87% of those shopping for MA-PD plans could have saved money on prescription drugs by enrolling in a different plan.
  • Only 13 percent of MA-PD enrollees who used eHealth’s prescription drug coverage comparison tool during the study period were enrolled in the MA-PD plan providing optimal coverage for their prescription drugs according to the tool.
  • $807 per year (or $67 per month) was the average potential savings available to these consumers if they had enrolled in the optimal MA-PD plan for their personal prescription drug regimen.

Potential savings with stand-alone Medicare Prescription Drug Plans (PDPs or Part D plans)

  • More than nine-in-ten (92%) could have potentially saved money on prescription drugs by enrolling in a different PDP.
  • Only 8 percent of PDP enrollees who used eHealth’s prescription drug coverage comparison tool were currently enrolled in the PDP providing optimal coverage for their prescription drugs.
  • $486 per year (or $41 per month) was the average potential savings available to these consumers if they had enrolled in the optimal PDP for their personal prescription drug regimen.

More information about eHealth’s report on Medicare prescription drug savings, including details on the study’s methodology and limitations, may be found here.

Rx Savings for Individual & Family Coverage

For prescription drug savings among persons shopping for individual and family major medical coverage, eHealth analyzed over 75,000 anonymous sessions where a customer used its drug coverage comparison tool during the 2017 nationwide open enrollment period, which took place between November 1, 2016 and January 31, 2017. Among those who found potential savings (compared to each drug’s full price), eHealth found that:

  • $1,616 was the median amount of potential savings on prescription drugs if they enrolled in the plan recommended by eHealth’s tool.
  • 67% discovered $500 or more in potential savings.
  • 27% discovered more than $4,000 in potential savings.
  • Adults age 30-39 found greater potential savings ($2,069) than other age groups.

More information about eHealth’s report on prescription drug savings for individual and family major medical plan shoppers, including details on the study’s methodology and limitations, may be found here.

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