eHealth Launches New Short-Term Health Insurance Choices For Consumers Seeking Quality, Temporary Coverage Outside of Open Enrollment
New ‘eHealth Plus’ short-term health insurance products are aimed at shoppers looking for robust short-term coverage and those who have been declined for other types of coverage
MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA – June 4, 2015 – Today eHealth, Inc. (NASDAQ: EHTH) announced that it has launched new eHealth-branded short-term health insurance products in response to increased demand for short-term plans among consumers and a lack of diversity in the short-term health insurance products previously available. eHealth operates eHealth.com, the nation’s first and largest private online health insurance exchange.
Applications for short-term health insurance plans at eHealth more than doubled between 2013 and 2014, and the number of short-term health insurance applications that were declined at eHealth more than tripled in the same time period. eHealth’s new short-term health insurance plans, eHealth Plus Coverage and eHealth Plus Guaranteed Issue, are designed to help meet this new demand. These plans are underwritten by National Health Insurance Company (NHIC) and provide enrollees with access to Aetna’s Open Choice PPO Network, a network of health care providers who agree to provide services for members at a pre-negotiated, reduced rate.
eHealth’s branded short-term plans will be available to consumers shopping for coverage at eHealth.com in 36 states plus the District of Columbia: Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Connecticut, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Iowa, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Missouri, Mississippi, Montana, North Carolina, North Dakota, Nebraska, New Mexico, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Washington D.C., West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.
“eHealth offers customers a wide selection of quality, affordable short-term health insurance products from reputable insurers, but over the past year, customers who missed open enrollment have consistently been asking for short-term plans with comprehensive benefits that more closely resemble major medical plans,” said Gary Lauer, Chairman and CEO of eHealth, Inc. “We’ve worked with NHIC to create plans designed to meet that need, and we will continue to improve on products that carry the eHealth name.”
Lauer continued, “We’ve also seen an increase in applications for short-term coverage being declined, so we felt it was critical to offer a guaranteed-issue short-term plan for shoppers who had previously been declined access to short-term coverage based on their medical history.”
Rise in Short-Term Applications
eHealth has reported a significant increase in consumer interest in short-term health insurance products since the 2014 provisions of the Affordable Care Act came into effect. Starting in 2014, short-term health insurance was often the only option for consumers who had missed the Affordable Care Act’s open enrollment period and who did not experience qualifying life events allowing them to enroll in major medical coverage outside of open enrollment.
In 2014 at eHealth.com, applications for short-term health insurance increased by more than 130%, from over 60,000 to over 140,000 per year. At the same time, the number of applications for short-term health insurance that were declined increased from 9% of all submitted applications to 12% of all submitted applications. In many cases, applicants who were declined had no way to obtain medical coverage until the next annual open enrollment period.
New short-term health insurance plans available at eHealth:
- eHealth Plus Short-Term Coverage 1000, 2500, and 5000 – This plan comes in three variations based with deductibles of $1,000, $2,500, or $5,000. Each has a $1 million coverage limit, each is available for up to 11 months of continuous coverage, and each provides enrollees with access to Aetna’s Open Choice PPO Network. There is no coinsurance once the deductible is met.
- eHealth Plus Guaranteed Issue Short-Term 3500 – This plan includes a $100,000 limit on medical coverage. It provides enrollees with access to Aetna’s Open Choice PPO Network, has a $3,500 deductible, 20% coinsurance, and a $10,000 out-of-pocket maximum for covered medical services. This plan is offered to individuals and families who apply for short-term health insurance coverage and have their initial application declined because they did not meet the insurance company’s underwriting requirements.
These general plan descriptions are qualified in their entirety by the actual plan brochures and other plan documents available at eHealth.com for each plan.
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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).
This press release contains forward-looking statements, including statements regarding the launch of eHealth-branded short-term health insurance products. 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: eHealth's ability to successfully launch and continue to make available for purchase eHealth-branded short-term health insurance products in the 37 listed states; eHealth’s successful marketing of eHealth-branded short-term health insurance products; eHealth’s ability to enroll or service customers interested in eHealth-branded short-term health insurance products, including over the Internet, telephone, online chat and other means; eHealth’s ability to maintain availability to consumers of its Internet platform, call center and other ecommerce infrastructure, including on mobile devices or computers connected to the Internet; eHealth’s ability to efficiently and timely process customer requests and applications; eHealth’s ability to maintain a good working relationship with NHIC or other insurance companies underwriting or supporting eHealth-branded short-term health insurance products; consumer demand for and acceptance of eHealth-branded short-term health insurance products; the profitability and economic sustainability of eHealth-branded short-term health insurance products; and potential changes in laws, regulations and regulatory guidance, such as the Affordable Care Act and related regulations and rules, including the timing of the open enrollment period or any regulations affecting the market for short-term health insurance products. 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.