SOURCE: eHealth, Inc.

eHealth, Inc.

December 09, 2009 15:50 ET

COBRA Subsidy Expiration: Research Shows Similarly Priced Alternatives to Subsidized COBRA for Families in Most States

New eHealth Research Shows Average State-Level Premiums for Non-Group Family Health Insurance Plans Are Comparable to Subsidized COBRA Premiums

MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA--(Marketwire - December 9, 2009) - eHealth, Inc. (NASDAQ: EHTH), the leading online source of health insurance for individuals, families and small businesses, today released data from approximately 84,000 individually purchased, non-group, major medical family health insurance policies that were active in February of 2009. To view a full copy of the report click here. The data identifies the average premiums for non-group family health insurance plans in 46 states and the District of Columbia. All policies surveyed were purchased through an online marketplace, eHealthInsurance.com (http://www.ehealthinsurance.com).

According to the research, the national average for individually purchased family health insurance premiums was $383. When compared to COBRA subsidy data released by Families USA on December 1, 2009, the eHealth research shows that the average family premiums of $383 is six dollars ($6) less than the average subsidized COBRA premium of $389, and $728 less than the average unsubsidized COBRA premium of $1,111.

eHealthInsurance.com encourages consumers who have lost their COBRA subsidies to explore all of their available health insurance options by taking the following actions:

1. Be proactive about seeking a long-term alternative to COBRA by researching your health insurance options at a place like eHealthInsurance.com.

2. If you've never purchased your own health insurance before, get help by contacting an agent or broker or by using free online resources like eHealth's "Health Insurance Buyer's Guide."

3. If you have a pre-existing medical condition, contact the Foundation for Health Coverage Education at http://www.CoverageForAll.org to determine what free and low-cost health care options are available to you in your area.

4. Calculate the amount of time you have remaining on the COBRA subsidy using eHealth's COBRA Subsidy Calendar widget.

5. If you have medical debt or need help understanding your rights, eHealth encourages you to review Families USA's consumer guide: Your Medical Bills: A Consumer's Guide to Coping with Medical Debt.

Price is an important element of health insurance, however the benefits provided by a health insurance policy are also a critical component of any coverage purchased. The data in the eHealth, Inc. report also reviews benefits standards and shows that the plans that families elected to purchase provided access to many important benefits. They include Labs & X-rays (99.1 percent); E.R. visits (99.9 percent); prescription drugs (86.9 percent); OB/GYN coverage (95.6 percent); periodic exams (90.0 percent); Well Baby coverage (87.7 percent); and chiropractic care (75.0 percent).

Maternity benefits were covered in 22.1% of policies surveyed, with nearly half (46.6 percent) of primary policy holders being women. Seven states (NY, NJ, MA, MT, MN, OR and WA) mandate that every non-group major medical insurance policy sold cover maternity benefits. In most other states maternity coverage is an optional benefit consumers can elect to purchase if needed. In some areas maternity benefits may not have been available.

  Comparison of state-level group and non-group family health insurance
           premium data from eHealth, Inc. and Families USA(3).



                          Average    Average Monthly COBRA
                          Monthly        Premium(1)
                          Premium    -----------------------
                         Non-Group
                          Family                              Amount
                          Health                             Lost If
                         Insurance      With       Without    Subsidy
State                      Plan(2)   Subsidy(1)  Subsidy(1)   Ends(1)
                         ----------- ----------- ----------- ----------
Alabama                  $       284 $       352 $     1,005 $      653
                         ----------- ----------- ----------- ----------
Alaska                   $       429 $       423 $     1,209 $      786
                         ----------- ----------- ----------- ----------
Arizona                  $       305 $       389 $     1,111 $      722
                         ----------- ----------- ----------- ----------
Arkansas                 $       276 $       355 $     1,014 $      659
                         ----------- ----------- ----------- ----------
California               $       380 $       388 $     1,107 $      720
                         ----------- ----------- ----------- ----------
Colorado                 $       348 $       378 $     1,080 $      702
                         ----------- ----------- ----------- ----------
Connecticut              $       468 $       425 $     1,214 $      789
                         ----------- ----------- ----------- ----------
Delaware                 $       391 $       423 $     1,209 $      786
                         ----------- ----------- ----------- ----------
District of Columbia     $       421 $       425 $     1,213 $      789
                         ----------- ----------- ----------- ----------
Florida                  $       354 $       402 $     1,147 $      746
                         ----------- ----------- ----------- ----------
Georgia                  $       407 $       369 $     1,053 $      685
                         ----------- ----------- ----------- ----------
Hawaii*                           NA $       349 $       998 $      649
                         ----------- ----------- ----------- ----------
Idaho                    $       293 $       343 $       979 $      636
                         ----------- ----------- ----------- ----------
Illinois                 $       378 $       399 $     1,139 $      740
                         ----------- ----------- ----------- ----------
Indiana                  $       337 $       427 $     1,220 $      793
                         ----------- ----------- ----------- ----------
Iowa                     $       233 $       346 $       989 $      643
                         ----------- ----------- ----------- ----------
Kansas                   $       311 $       369 $     1,054 $      685
                         ----------- ----------- ----------- ----------
Kentucky                 $       290 $       364 $     1,040 $      676
                         ----------- ----------- ----------- ----------
Louisiana                $       317 $       354 $     1,013 $      658
                         ----------- ----------- ----------- ----------
Maine*                            NA $       414 $     1,184 $      769
                         ----------- ----------- ----------- ----------
Maryland                 $       367 $       397 $     1,133 $      737
                         ----------- ----------- ----------- ----------
Massachusetts*                    NA $       436 $     1,246 $      810
                         ----------- ----------- ----------- ----------
Michigan                 $       295 $       358 $     1,023 $      665
                         ----------- ----------- ----------- ----------
Minnesota                $       350 $       431 $     1,232 $      801
                         ----------- ----------- ----------- ----------
Mississippi              $       312 $       359 $     1,027 $      667
                         ----------- ----------- ----------- ----------
Missouri                 $       283 $       365 $     1,044 $      679
                         ----------- ----------- ----------- ----------
Montana                  $       340 $       362 $     1,033 $      672
                         ----------- ----------- ----------- ----------
Nebraska                 $       314 $       368 $     1,052 $      684
                         ----------- ----------- ----------- ----------
Nevada                   $       386 $       363 $     1,038 $      675
                         ----------- ----------- ----------- ----------
New Hampshire            $       473 $       430 $     1,228 $      798
                         ----------- ----------- ----------- ----------
New Jersey               $       772 $       404 $     1,156 $      751
                         ----------- ----------- ----------- ----------
New Mexico               $       303 $       382 $     1,091 $      709
                         ----------- ----------- ----------- ----------
New York                 $       841 $       406 $     1,159 $      753
                         ----------- ----------- ----------- ----------
North Carolina           $       320 $       389 $     1,112 $      723
                         ----------- ----------- ----------- ----------
North Dakota*                     NA $       353 $     1,010 $      656
                         ----------- ----------- ----------- ----------
Ohio                     $       311 $       361 $     1,032 $      671
                         ----------- ----------- ----------- ----------
Oklahoma                 $       287 $       350 $       999 $      649
                         ----------- ----------- ----------- ----------
Oregon                   $       367 $       398 $     1,137 $      739
                         ----------- ----------- ----------- ----------
Pennsylvania             $       414 $       390 $     1,115 $      725
                         ----------- ----------- ----------- ----------
Rhode Island                      NA $       423 $     1,207 $      785
                         ----------- ----------- ----------- ----------
South Carolina           $       336 $       382 $     1,090 $      709
                         ----------- ----------- ----------- ----------
South Dakota             $       314 $       360 $     1,028 $      668
                         ----------- ----------- ----------- ----------
Tennessee                $       343 $       389 $     1,112 $      723
                         ----------- ----------- ----------- ----------
Texas                    $       386 $       378 $     1,081 $      703
                         ----------- ----------- ----------- ----------
Utah                     $       305 $       373 $     1,065 $      692
                         ----------- ----------- ----------- ----------
Vermont*                          NA $       414 $     1,183 $      769
                         ----------- ----------- ----------- ----------
Virginia                 $       381 $       377 $     1,078 $      701
                         ----------- ----------- ----------- ----------
Washington               $       443 $       412 $     1,178 $      766
                         ----------- ----------- ----------- ----------
West Virginia            $       383 $       408 $     1,164 $      757
                         ----------- ----------- ----------- ----------
Wisconsin                $       302 $       410 $     1,171 $      761
                         ----------- ----------- ----------- ----------
Wyoming                  $       351 $       403 $     1,151 $      748
                         ----------- ----------- ----------- ----------
U.S. Overall             $       383 $       389 $     1,111 $      722
                         ----------- ----------- ----------- ----------


(1) SOURCE: Families USA Special Report: Expiration of COBRA Subsidy (http://www.familiesusa.org/)

(2) SOURCE: eHealth, Inc.'s 2009 Report: The Cost And Benefits Of Individual And Family Health Insurance Plans Report: Surveys approximately 84,000 major medical, non-group family plans. (http://news.ehealthinsurance.com/pr/ehi/document/Cost_and_Benefit_Report_2009.pdf)

(3) NOTE: Average monthly premium data presented here by eHealthInsurance for non-group major medical policies is taken from policies that were active in February 2009; Average monthly COBRA premium data here was taken from the Families USA Special Report: Expiration of COBRA Subsidy, which was published on December 1, 2009.

About eHealth
eHealth, Inc. (NASDAQ: EHTH) is the parent company of eHealthInsurance, the nation'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 leading health insurance carriers, compare plans side by side, and apply for and purchase health insurance. eHealthInsurance offers thousands of health plans underwritten by more than 180 of the nation's leading health insurance companies. eHealthInsurance is an online marketplace licensed to sell health insurance in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, making it an excellent model for successful, high-functioning health insurance exchanges. Through its eCommerce On-Demand solution (eOD), www.ehealth.com/eOD, eHealth is also a leading provider of on-demand e-commerce software services. eHealth's eOD platform provides a suite of hosted solutions that enable health plan providers and resellers to market and distribute products online. eHealth's eCommerce On-Demand solution is currently available to health plan providers in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. eHealthInsurance and eHealth are registered trademarks of eHealthInsurance Services, Inc.

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