Today, eHealth, Inc. (NASDAQ: EHTH) issued its annual Cost & Benefits Report. The report identifies the average premiums, deductibles and benefit standards for non-group health insurance plans for individuals and families purchased nationally through an online marketplace, eHealthInsurance.com.
According to the report, in 2009 the median non-group health insurance premium for an individual in the United States was $1,584 per year ($132 per month) and the average deductible was $2,326. Combined, annual premiums and deductibles account for approximately 7.7 percent of median household income for 2008 ($50,303) as reported by the US Census Bureau.
The objective of this report is to provide a nationwide perspective on cost and benefit trends in the individual health insurance market, based on an analysis of a large, geographically distributed sample of eHealthInsurance purchasers and products. The first Cost and Benefits of Individual Health Insurance Plans report was issued by eHealthInsurance in 2001. Licensed in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, eHealthInsurance is one of the few organizations with national source data that can best reflect consumer buying patterns and purchase prices in the non-group health insurance market.
Analysis in the report is based on a nationwide sample of approximately 317,000 non-group, individual and family (IFP) major medical policies purchased through eHealthInsurance.com, and active in February 2009.
“As the nationwide economic situation continues, and the number of uninsured Americans increases, access to cost-effective health insurance continues to be a critical issue in our country,” said Gary Lauer, president and CEO of eHealth, Inc. “This report provides a very clear picture of what people choose to purchase when they have the opportunity to view multiple products side-by-side in an online marketplace. We’re confident that people make better purchase decisions when they’re aware of all of their health coverage options. ”
Report Highlights – Active Policies Surveyed in 2009:
- The average monthly premium for non-group individual policies was $161, while the average monthly premium for non-group family policies was $383.
- The average deductible for individual policies was $2,326, and the average deductible for family policies was $3,128
- Half of all individual policyholders paid monthly premiums of $132 or less, and half of all family policyholders paid monthly premiums of $329 or less.
- The average plan lifetime limit was $4.3 million. This average applies only to policies with specified limits. The median plan lifetime limit was $5 million. The median is based on policies sampled that have specific dollar limits as well as those with no dollar limits.
- The range of average monthly premiums for individual plans across the United States falls between $103 in Iowa and $339 in New York. The range of average monthly premiums for family plans across the United States falls between $233 in Iowa and $841 in New York.
- Forty-five percent of major medical plans sold to individuals had a deductible of less than $2,000. Among family plans, sixty percent (60.5%) had a deductible less than $3,000.
- Sixteen percent of all active policies were HSA-eligible.
- Almost 100% of individual and family plan (IFP) policyholders selected plans that included lab x-ray (99.0%) and emergency room coverage (99.9%).
- The majority of individual and family plan policyholders purchased plans that covered prescription drugs (88.9%) and chiropractic coverage (74.4%).
- Policyholders also tended to select plans that offered preventive care benefits like OB/GYN (93.7%), periodic exams (89.6%) and well baby coverage (87.7%).
About ehealth: Founded in 1997, with over 2 million Americans insured, eHealthInsurance.com is the leading online marketplace for non-group, individual and family health insurance products. eHealthInsurance.com enables consumers to compare health insurance plan costs and benefits side-by-side, submit applications, receive underwriting decisions, make initial premium payments and complete their purchases online. These unique features demonstrate eHealthInsurance.com’s effectiveness as a model for successful health insurance exchanges.
On the web at: http://www.eHealthInsurance.com