MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--eHealth, Inc. (NASDAQ: EHTH) (eHealth.com) has partnered with The IHC Group to offer medical insurance packages to customers unable to afford health insurance plans that meet all the benefit requirements with the Affordable Care Act (the ACA, or Obamacare).
These medical insurance packages were developed in partnership with The IHC Group to provide an affordable alternative for people who cannot afford Obamacare-compliant major medical health insurance coverage but who still want meaningful protection against unexpected medical expenses. Medical insurance packages developed by The IHC Group will be available in 37 states and the District of Columbia and provide a single point of service when people need to use their benefits.
These new packages will be available to customers on November 1, 2017, when the 2018 open enrollment period is scheduled to begin.
Offerings may differ by state but these medical insurance packages include varying combinations of both insurance and non-insurance products, such as short-term medical insurance, supplemental (GAP) insurance, fixed-indemnity insurance, telemedicine benefits, prescription drug discount benefits, and medical advocacy services.
“Our partnership with The IHC Group will allow us to create affordable products for our customers who cannot afford major medical Obamacare coverage,” said eHealth CEO Scott Flanders. “We’ve listened to our customers and developed these medical insurance packages to better serve those customers who are not getting what they need from our Obamacare products.”
In addition to offering these new medical insurance packages, eHealth continues to offer major medical health insurance plans that meet the coverage requirements of the ACA.
Medical insurance packages do not offer coverage for pre-existing medical conditions and it is possible, with some packages, to be declined coverage based on the presence of pre-existing medical conditions. These products do not provide the same benefits as major medical plans that meet the coverage requirements of the Affordable Care Act. In particular, packages do not provide the full set of minimum essential benefits required by the Affordable Care Act. Persons going without Obamacare-compliant coverage in 2018 may be subject to a tax penalty depending on their individual circumstances.
Obamacare’s Individual Mandate Exemption & the Affordability Gap
A recent analysis1 found that 43 percent of people who buy health insurance in the individual market (7.5 million) don’t receive government assistance (advance premium tax credits, commonly referred to as Obamacare subsidies) because they earn more than 400 percent of the federal poverty level.
The ACA defines health insurance as “unaffordable” when the lowest-priced plan available costs more than 8.16 percent of an individual or family’s yearly income (MAGI).
With premiums expected to rise by more than 20 percent in some markets, eHealth recently published a report examining health insurance costs for families that make too much to receive ACA premium subsidies in 50 U.S. cities and found that a projected 10 percent increase in 2018 would make their health insurance unaffordable in 47 of those cities. eHealth also analyzed ACA health insurance premiums for individuals that make too much to receive ACA premium subsidies in 25 U.S. cities and found that by age 45 health insurance would be unaffordable in the majority of those cities if premiums rise 10 percent in 2018.
1As reported on NPR from insurance industry consultant Robert Laszewski.
This press release contains statements that are forward-looking statements as defined within the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These include statements regarding eHealth’s partnership with The IHC Group to offer medical insurance packages; the availability of the new packages by November 1, 2017 in 37 states and the District of Columbia; the features and products contained in medical insurance packages; eHealth’s partnership with The IHC Group allowing eHealth to create affordable products for customers who cannot afford major medical Obamacare coverage; and analysis that a 10 percent projected price increase in 2018 would make coverage unaffordable in 47 out of 50 states for families that earn too much for ACA government subsidies and in 25 U.S. cities for individuals age 45 who earn too much for ACA government subsidies for premiums. These forward-looking statements are inherently subject to various risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from the statements made, including risks associated with: eHealth’s ability to maintain and perform under the partnership with The IHC Group; changes in governmental policy or regulation or other governmental or regulatory actions affecting the health insurance market; changes in health insurance premiums; the accuracy of eHealth’s analysis and projections; the availability, benefit, and coverages of medical insurance packages; and other factors that could cause operating, financial, and other results to differ, which are described in eHealth’s most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K or Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission and 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. eHealth undertakes no obligation to update any forward-looking statement to conform to actual results or changes in intentions or expectations.
eHealth, Inc. (NASDAQ: EHTH) owns eHealth.com, a leading private online health insurance exchange where individuals, families and small businesses can compare health insurance products from brand-name insurers side by side and purchase and enroll in coverage online and over the phone. 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, exceptional telephonic support, 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 or over the phone through Medicare.com (www.Medicare.com), eHealthMedicare.com (www.eHealthMedicare.com) and PlanPrescriber.com (www.PlanPrescriber.com).
For more health insurance news and information, visit eHealth's Consumer Resource Center.