Top Five Reasons for Consumers to Compare Their 2019 Coverage Options

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., Nov. 12, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Today eHealth, Inc. (NASDAQ: EHTH) (eHealth.com) released data from an analysis of trends in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) market that shed light on figures from the federal government suggesting that enrollment in ACA health coverage during the current open enrollment period may be lagging behind enrollment figures from last year.

eHealth's analysis of its own 2018 and 2019 health insurance products offerings shows:

    --  Fewer enrollees are being bumped from their old plans - The number of
        eHealth customers forced to shop for new 2019 plans because their
        current health plan will not be available in the new year is down 98
        percent compared to last year.
    --  Fewer insurers are departing the market - The number of eHealth
        customers forced to look for new coverage because their current health
        insurer is exiting their local market is down 100 percent compared to
        last year.
    --  Fewer customers are seeing rate increases - The number of eHealth
        customers getting a rate increase of 10 percent or more for the 2019
        plan year is down 59 percent compared to last year.

"On the one hand, this is great news for health insurance consumers, since it suggests a more stable ACA market," said eHealth CEO Scott Flanders. "More people may be holding onto their 2018 plans into the new year. However, there's a trade-off: With fewer changes to their coverage and moderated premiums, fewer people are being actively reminded to get out there and shop during the current open enrollment period. In fact, this may be a particularly good year for people to shop for a new plan that will better meet their needs in 2019."

Top Five Reasons Consumers Should Compare their 2019 Coverage Options

    --  Many consumers will find lower prices than last year - According to an
        eHealth analysis of plans available to 45-year-olds in 38 metropolitan
        areas through the federal health insurance marketplace, the premium for
        the lowest-cost bronze plan has decreased an average of 3 percent
        compared with last year's open enrollment period. Some markets show
        double-digit premium reductions: the premium for the lowest cost bronze
        plan decreased 26 percent in Raleigh, NC; 18 percent in Phoenix, AZ; 15
        percent in Atlanta, GA; and 13 percent in Trenton, NJ.


    --  There are more plans to choose from compared to last year - According to
        eHealth's analysis, there are 31 percent more plans to choose from
        across all states served by the federal health insurance marketplace.
        Consumers can also enroll in these plans through certain licensed
        brokers like eHealth.com, where additional ACA-compliant plans that are
        not available through government marketplaces can also be found.


    --  Provider networks can change from one year to the next - Health
        insurance consumers who are pleased with their 2018 coverage should make
        sure that their preferred doctors and hospitals are still covered next
        year. Many health insurance plans change their list of network health
        care providers annually. At eHealth, consumers can sort available plans
        to see which are accepted by their preferred doctor.


    --  Coverage for prescription drugs can also change - Consumers who are
        otherwise satisfied with their current plan may also wish to shop for
        new 2019 coverage if the insurance company has changed its list of
        covered medications or increased copays associated with prescription
        drugs. At eHealth, consumers can sort plans based on those that provide
        them with the greatest savings for their prescription drug needs.
    --  There are more alternatives this time for those who can't afford ACA
        coverage - People who earn too much money to qualify for government
        subsidies under the ACA may not always be able to afford ACA-compliant
        coverage on their own. This year, many will have access to short-term
        health insurance products with coverage periods of up to one year in
        most states (90 days was the federal limit last year), and they will not
        face a tax penalty for going without ACA-compliant coverage in 2019. ACA
        alternatives like short-term plans do not have the same benefits and
        protections as ACA plans (they do not cover the ACA's ten minimum
        essential benefits or coverage for pre-existing conditions, for
        example), but ACA alternatives can provide meaningful protection from
        medical costs in many cases of unexpected illness or injury.

About eHealth
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), GoMedigap (www.goMedigap.com) and PlanPrescriber.com (www.PlanPrescriber.com).

For media inquiries, please contact:

Sande Drew
DMA Communications for eHealth, Inc.
(916) 207-7674
sande.drew@gmail.com

Rob Wyse
Capital Content for eHealth, Inc.
(212) 920-1470
rob@capital-content.com

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SOURCE eHealth, Inc.