King v. Burwell: eHealth Applauds The Supreme Court’s Decision Protecting Health Insurance Subsidies for Low- and Middle-Income Individuals and Families
While hailing the decision as a win for American consumers, eHealth CEO Gary Lauer calls on lawmakers and policymakers to address other challenges facing the Affordable Care Act
MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA – June 25, 2015 – Today eHealth, Inc. (NASDAQ: EHTH – eHealth.com), the nation’s first and largest private online health insurance exchange, applauded the recent ruling by The Supreme Court of the United States in the case of King vs. Burwell, which ensured continued access to health insurance subsidies for millions of Americans.
“As an early and vocal supporter of the Affordable Care Act, eHealth applauds the Supreme Court’s decision to maintain access to subsidies for individuals living in states that have not built their own health insurance exchanges,” said Gary Lauer, Chairman and CEO of eHealth, Inc. “Maintaining access to consumer subsidies is critical to many families and to the continued viability of the Affordable Care Act.”
In a recent survey of eHealth customers who identified themselves as recipients of government subsidies, almost nine-in-ten (86%) said they could not afford to continue paying their monthly health insurance premiums without the assistance provided by government subsidies1.
Other Existential Threats to Obamacare Have Not Yet Been Addressed
Despite the Supreme Court’s ruling, the Affordable Care Act continues to face serious challenges both at the federal and the state level.
“Access to subsidies is a vital component of Obamacare,” said Mr. Lauer, “but the fact is that enrollments through government-run exchanges during the most recent open enrollment period were disappointing. Many government-run exchanges are not well-positioned to be financially self-sustaining, and the cost of enrolling new consumers is too high.
“Government exchanges are trying to provide a service, but they’re also engaging in ecommerce – and anyone from Silicon Valley can tell you that the failure rate of ecommerce startups is intimidating,” continued Mr. Lauer. “Luckily, successful private exchanges like eHealth are already present in the market. With greater cooperation from government, these could provide a robust additional route to enrollment for millions of Americans – at no cost to government or the taxpayer.”
Mr. Lauer went on to say, “That’s why I’m calling on our lawmakers and policymakers today to come together with private enterprise so that we can all work together to achieve the goal we all share: to help all Americans find the quality, affordable coverage they need for themselves and their families.”
In March of 2015, eHealth’s CEO Gary Lauer, wrote an op-ed in Forbes promoting a fix to the issues brought to light in the case of King v. Burwell. eHealth also published a white paper outlining a proposed legislative solution that would enable private exchanges like eHealth to play a critical role in meeting the needs of consumers.
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 a proposal for greater involvement of private exchanges in enrolling health insurance customers. 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: any consequences of the current outcome of the court case King v. Burwell and any consequences of any other litigation related to the Affordable Care Act (ACA); the political, legislative, regulatory or other governmental or official actions taken in connection with the ACA or litigation or regulations related to the ACA; the effect of any such litigation or actions on consumers, insurance brokers and agents, insurance carriers, and insurance markets; any new or revised laws or regulations or other actions taken by federal and state regulatory agencies, including the Department of Treasury, the Internal Revenue Service, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and state departments of insurance; the adoption and implementation of any proposal involving private exchanges by the relevant federal or state governmental authorities; governmental, industry and consumer acceptance of any such proposal; the effectiveness of any such proposal that might be adopted; eHealth’s ability to effectively participate in, operate under or benefit from any such proposal that might be adopted; the ability of government systems and insurance carriers to efficiently and timely process requests and applications from eHealth and its customers; and any other potential changes in laws, regulations and regulatory guidance, whether or not directly related to the ACA and related regulations and rules, including any timing or other requirement for enrolling customers in health insurance plans. 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, 2013 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.