COBRA Subsidy Calculator and Affordable Health Insurance Alternatives From eHealthInsurance at COBRALearning.com
Calculate the Cost of Your Subsidized COBRA Premium: Compare Subsidized COBRA With Affordable Health Insurance Alternatives
MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA -- (Marketwire) -- 02/26/09 -- eHealthInsurance, the leading onlinesource of medical insurancefor individuals, families and small businesses, today announced that aCOBRA subsidy calculator is available on its COBRA Learning Center locatedat COBRALearning.com. The new federal stimuluspackage (the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009) includes a 65percent subsidy on the cost of COBRA premiums for up to 9 months.
eHealthInsurance's COBRA calculator allows consumers to input the totalcost of their COBRA premiums and calculate their out of pocket costs forCOBRA after they receive their 65 percent subsidy. It also gives consumersthe option to input basic information (gender, date of birth, zip code) toview anonymous quotes on private health insurance alternatives to COBRA.
Even with the subsidy, many Americans may find COBRA premiums to becost-prohibitive. For that reason, eHealth's COBRA Calculator also allowsconsumers to view quotes and apply online for health insurance policiesavailable from name-brand health insurance companies. These plans may bemore affordable than a subsidized COBRA plan. Consumers should makeinformed decisions, which is why eHealth recommends researching all of youroptions.
Consider these three hypothetical customer types:Customer AProfile: Single Adult MaleAge: 45-55Health status: diabeticState of residence: New YorkCost-effective coverage option (1)-- COBRA with the 65% subsidy.Rationale:-- It's extremely difficult to qualify for an individual health insurance product if you have a pre-existing health condition like diabetes.-- The good news for someone living in a state like New York is that it's a "guaranteed issue" state, which means you can't be denied coverage due to a pre-existing health condition.-- However, any individual policy you purchase in a guaranteed issue state would have costs comparable to what you would get with COBRA. And there are no subsidies available for individual market policies.Customer BProfile: Married Adult Female with three kidsAge: 35-45Health status: Policy holder takes medication for mild anxiety anddepression. Spouse and children are healthy.State of residence: TexasCost-effective coverage option (1)-- COBRA for herself with the 65% subsidy.-- Individual policies for her husband and children.Rationale:-- A COBRA policy for customer B's entire family may average $1,100(2) or more per month - $385(5) after the subsidy.-- If she insures herself with COBRA, she's likely to pay closer to $140(6) per month after the subsidy.-- Assuming the rest of her family is in good health, she could insure them all with a family plan for as little as $120(3) per month.-- This type of mix & match strategy can save her $125 or more per month on premiums.Customer CProfile: Single Adult MaleAge: 25-36Health status: A few minor back problems, but nothing serious.State of residence: CaliforniaCost-effective coverage option (1)-- Individual health insurance policy.Rationale:-- In California, the average adult will pay $380 on COBRA(2) per month, which equates to $133 per month after the subsidy.-- Individual health insurance policies from name-brand carriers can start at around $65(2) per month for young, healthy adults.-- You have a better chance of being insured when healthy, and you're likely to find a better rate.-- If saving money is a priority, an individual health insurance policy can provide quality coverage and save you as much as $70(3) or more each month over subsidized COBRA premiums.
"Even in this difficult economic environment, it is important thatconsumers research all of their health insurance options and get covered,"said Chris Hakim, director, COBRA solutions at eHealthInsurance."Continuing your health insurance through COBRA is often the best healthinsurance option, but that's not always the case. People living onunemployment benefits and struggling to make ends meet may find morecost-effective health insurance coverage in the private market, at afraction of the cost. This calculator allows them to explore their optionsand make sure they're buying the coverage that best meets their needs."
An eHealth 2008 survey(4) of 227,000 private health insurance policyholders showed that half of all individual policy holders paid less than$130 per month and over half of family policy holders paid less than $300per month. It also showed that a vast majority of individual and familypolicyholders had lab x-ray, emergency, prescription and chiropracticcoverage and that the average plan lifetime coverage limit was $3.9million(4).
For answers to questions about the federal subsidy for COBRA insurancepremiums included in the economic stimulus bill, please see the press release section of eHealth, Inc.'s website.
About eHealth, Inc.:
eHealth, Inc. (NASDAQ: EHTH) is the parent company of eHealthInsurance, thenation's leading online source of health insurance for individuals,families and small businesses. Through the company's website,http://www.ehealthinsurance.com, consumers can get quotes from leadinghealth insurance carriers, compare plans side by side, and apply for andpurchase health insurance. eHealthInsurance offers thousands of healthplans underwritten by more than 180 of the nation's health insurancecompanies. eHealthInsurance is licensed to sell health insurance in all 50states and the District of Columbia. eHealthInsurance and eHealth areregistered trademarks of eHealthInsurance Services, Inc.
(1) The cost-effective coverage options listed in this chart are merely asuggestion based on the hypothetical profile provided. Other factors shouldbe considered in determining what is the best option for a particularindividual.
(2) SOURCE: Families USA Foundation's 2009 report: Squeezed! Caught betweenUnemployment Benefits And Health Care Costs:http://www.familiesusa.org/resources/newsroom/press-releases/2009-press-releases/cobra-premiums-for-family.html
(3) Calculated using eHealth's COBRA calculator located atwww.COBRALearning.com
(4) SOURCE: eHealth, Inc.'s 2008 report: Cost and Benefits of Individualand Family Health Insurance Plans:http://www.ehealthinsurance.com/content/expertcenterNew/eHealthCBreport2008FINAL.pdf
(5) According to the Families USA Foundation's 2009 report, the averagefamily COBRA Premium in Texas is $1,293. Nation-wide, the average COBRApremium for families is $1,278.
(6) According to the Families USA Foundation's 2009 report, the averageCOBRA premium for an individual in Texas is $390. Nationwide, the averageCOBRA premium is $388.
For more information about individual and family health insurance plans asan alternative to COBRA, please contact:-- A licensed eHealthInsurance agent at 1-800-977-8860-- Or go online to www.COBRALearning.comFor information about public programs please contact:-- The Foundation for Health Coverage Education (FHCE) at 800-234-1317-- Or go to their web site at www.coverageforall.org