SOURCE: eHealth, Inc.

eHealth, Inc.

June 25, 2009 08:00 ET

Parents: Lack of Awareness About Health Insurance May Bring Your College Graduates Home: Survey From eHealthInsurance

Results Show Future Graduates Value Security Over Independence

MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA--(Marketwire - June 25, 2009) - Parents may be shouldering more of the financial burden this year as their children graduating from college enter a challenging job market, according to a survey released by eHealthInsurance (www.ehealthinsurance.com). Additionally, parents that do see their kids returning home after college may face an expectation that parents cover the cost of internet access, cell phone bills and health insurance costs.

According to the survey, college students unable to find work after graduation would rather give up their own apartment (31%) or their own car (19%) before they would abandon their cell phones (13%) or internet access (12%) in order to save money; and sixty-two percent (62%) would rather live at home after graduation than go without health insurance, according to the national poll(1) conducted by global insights firm Kelton Research of college students ages 18-24 and sponsored by eHealthInsurance.com.

Employers anticipate hiring 22 percent fewer new college graduates from the class of 2009 than they hired from the class of 2008, according to the National Association of Colleges and Employers(2). Students under the age of 25 are typically covered through a parent's health insurance plan but, many plans don't allow dependent children over 18 to stay on a parent's plan after they graduate from college. For graduates that don't find work after graduation, saving money, and finding ways to maintain their health insurance coverage become increasingly important issues.

While most students reported a willingness to sacrifice their independence in order to be able to afford health insurance, less than fifty percent (50%) could confidently define deductibles (41%), premiums (29%), annual out of pocket maximums (23%), lifetime coverage limits (23%) or co-insurance (15%). The majority (58%) had no idea how much an average individual health insurance plan would cost.

For a complete summary of survey data and methodology, go to: http://www.ehealthinsurance.com/collegesurvey

Key findings of the survey include:

Which of the following would you be willing to give up if you had to cut back on your spending after graduating college?

--  Magazine Subscriptions - 72%
--  Eating Out - 69%
--  Gym Membership - 63%
--  Video Game System - 59%
--  Cable TV - 48%
--  Credit Cards - 48%
--  Having My Own Apartment - 31%
--  Having My Own Car - 19%
--  Health Insurance - 16%
--  My Own Cell Phone, Smartphone, Or PDA - 13%
--  Internet Access - 12%
--  None Of These - 3%
    

What should parents expect of their so-called "boomerang generation" children?

--  Less than a third (30%) of current college students are confident that
    they'll have a job lined up before they graduate - and the rest estimate it
    will take about 5 months to find a job after receiving their diploma.
--  Three in five (60%) college students are currently covered by a health
    plan that their parents provide.
--  Many expect for this to continue after school ends. Nearly six in ten
    (56%) college students believe they will have health insurance the day
    after they graduate.
--  Many parents are likely to find themselves supporting their children
    after the final tuition bill is paid. Seven in ten (70%) college students
    covered under their parents assert that their folks would likely buy them a
    health plan if they were no longer eligible for coverage after school ends.
    

Do students need to do more homework to understand their health insurance options after graduation? The majority of students had incorrect expectations about benefits and costs, and don't understand basic health insurance terms:

--  85.7%(2) of plans cover basic preventive care: 73% surveyed assumed
    all plans cover basic preventive care.
--  24.8%(2) of plans covered maternity benefits: 40% surveyed assumed all
    plans cover maternity benefits.
--  99.6%(2) of plans cover emergency room visits: 69% surveyed assumed
    all plans cover emergency room visits.
--  53% of students: confident that they could define a co-payment
--  41% of students: confident that they could define a deductible
    

For a complete summary of survey data and methodology, go to: http://www.ehealthinsurance.com/collegesurvey

About eHealth, Inc.:

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 health insurance companies. eHealthInsurance is licensed to sell health insurance in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. eHealthInsurance and eHealth are registered trademarks of eHealthInsurance Services, Inc.

Sources:

(1) Kelton Research's College Students Survey sponsored by eHealthInsurance.com: http://www.ehealthinsurance.com/collegesurvey

(2) National Association of Colleges and Employers' (NACE) Job Outlook 2009 Spring Update (http://www.naceweb.org/spotlight/2009/e030409a.htm)

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