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MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA--(Sep 4, 2013) - Today eHealth, Inc (
Uninsured Americans and many who already buy their own major medical health insurance will need to purchase new coverage in 2014 that meets minimum federal standards in order to avoid paying a tax penalty -- "the mandate tax." In October of 2013, a new open enrollment period will provide these Americans with their first opportunity to research and compare new health insurance plans that meet the federal standards for major medical health coverage.
In order to educate consumers so that they can become better shoppers, eHealth created this six-step approach. In Step 1, eHealth detailed when consumers that already had health insurance might need to enroll in a new plan. In Step 2, eHealth outlined how the mandate tax and new subsidies would work under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Step 3 explained how new health insurance plans and their benefits will be structured in 2014. Now, in Step 4, eHealth outlines some of the differences in the health insurance plans that will be available on state and federal health insurance exchanges and on private exchanges like eHealthInsurance.com.
Step 4: Understand the new health insurance products that will be available on private exchanges in 2014 - The ACA doesn't create a one-size-fits-all health insurance market. Private online marketplaces like eHealthInsurance.com offer a broad range of health insurance plans from a number of different insurance companies to meet your individual needs.
Private exchanges will continue to offer major medical plans with varying deductibles and benefit levels, tiered provider networks, and other benefits that may not always be available on government exchanges. Expect private exchanges to also sell health insurance products you'd expect in most health benefit packages, like vision, dental, accident, short-term, critical illness and life insurance.
Qualified Health Plans vs. Health Plans with "Essential Health Benefits"
Plans Available on Government Exchanges and Private Exchanges
Defining the Ideal Essential Benefits Package - In 2014, eHealthInsurance.com and other private exchanges will continue offering a variety of supplemental insurance products to help consumers round out their benefit needs. Most people want to have a choice when it comes to the types of insurance they need for their families. eHealth surveyed 1,100 of its own customers in July of 2012 to determine which type of insurance -- outside of major medical health insurance -- they felt was most important. While life insurance was the clear winner, our customers had a wide range of opinions as to what types of insurance were critical to have.
|Most important insurance benefit after health insurance|
Tiered Provider Networks - Some Qualified Health Plans offered by insurers on the exchanges (and off of exchanges) will have limited provider networks in order to keep the plan's costs down. These lower cost plans would limit the number of doctors a customer could at the plan's "preferred rate" and may have higher copayments if you want to see doctors out of the plan's network.
The most widely publicized example is in California, where 13 insurers have filed to offer QHPs on California's state exchange, with access to about 80% of California's practicing physicians and hospitals. But, some of the state's larger insurers also plan to have plans on the exchange with provider networks that cover as few as 36% of the physicians in their entire physician network.
Additional Consumer Resources:
eHealth, Inc. (
For more health insurance news and information, visit the eHealthInsurance consumer blog: Get Smart - Get Covered or visit eHealth's Affordable Care Act Resource Center atwww.eHealth.com/affordable-care-act.
This press release contains forward-looking statements, including statements regarding the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and related regulations, the need to purchase new coverage in 2014, the timing of the new open enrollment period and the ability to compare new health insurance plans during it, the types of plans that will be offered in 2014 and their benefits, the types of plans private exchanges will sell, the ability to research and enroll in a QHP through a licensed agent, private exchange and a government-run exchange, and the doctor network and other benefits of QHPs. 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 ability of private exchanges to enroll individuals into qualified health plans and to satisfy conditions and requirements to do so; changes in laws and regulations relating to health care reform; private exchanges ability to integrate with government-run exchanges; government-run exchange readiness; and government approvals of plans, rates, and other matters . 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, 2012 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.comand on the Securities and Exchange Commission's website at www.sec.gov. All information provided in this Current Report on Form 8-K is as of the date of its filing, and we undertake no duty to update this information unless required by law.