eHealth CEO Scott Flanders Notes H.R. 6311 Would Also Expand
Availability of Subsidies and Increase Consumer Health Plan Choice
MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–According to an analysis of H.R. 6311 prepared by eHealth, Inc. (Nasdaq:
pre-retiree adults ages 55 to 64, who typically pay the highest premiums
in the individual market, could save an estimated $384 per month, or
$4,608 a year by purchasing a copper plan instead of a bronze plan.
Those who qualify for premium tax credits could save thousands of
dollars more per year, depending on their income.
“This bill is an effort to expand consumer choice and provide people
burdened by high health insurance costs with more options in an open
market to find affordable coverage,” said eHealth CEO Scott Flanders.
“With open enrollment just a few months away and premiums poised to
increase by double digits in some markets, we encourage Congress to act
quickly on this bill. It would offer many consumers a lifeline –
H.R. 6311 would rebrand lower-priced catastrophic plans as “copper” and
expand their availability to all health insurance consumers.
Catastrophic plans are currently available only to people under age 30,
with some exceptions. The bill would also allow consumers to apply
premium tax subsidies to these policies, lowering costs even further for
those with qualifying incomes.
“These are commonsense amendments to the Affordable Care Act that we
hope legislators can agree to support,” Flanders said. “At eHealth, we
believe these simple changes would help stabilize the market and prevent
many cost-stressed consumers from going without ACA-compliant health
insurance coverage next year.”
The estimated savings in eHealth’s analysis are based on average
premiums for health plans selected by eHealth customers during last
fall’s annual open enrollment period, when premiums for catastrophic
plans selected by young adults were, on average, 41 percent lower than
the bronze plans they selected. The average monthly premium for bronze
plans selected by eHealth shoppers between the ages of 55 and 64 at that
time was $936 per month. If copper/catastrophic plans were available for
this age group with the same 41 percent difference in premium, this
would result in an estimated savings of $384 per month, or $4,608 per
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),
and PlanPrescriber.com (www.PlanPrescriber.com).