eHealth Report Finds Younger ACA Customers, Lower Premiums
The average age of individuals obtaining health coverage under the Affordable Care Act through eHealthInsurance.com has dropped from 44 to 36 since the beginning of open enrollment, while average monthly premiums decreased by nearly $100, according to a report by the online broker, the Los Angeles Times' "Money & Co." reports.
Details of Report
The data are based on plans purchased through eHealth without federal subsidies, which only government sites can offer (Terhune, "Money & Co.," Los Angeles Times, 2/26).
According to the report, premiums for ACA-compliant individual health plans cost an average of $374 per month at the beginning of open enrollment on Oct. 15, 2013. By late February, average premiums had dropped to about $274 per month for individual plans.
According to an eHealth release, the decrease in premium costs could have resulted from:
- Demographic changes in consumers obtaining health plans, such as more young individuals purchasing plans; and
- Consumers choosing less-costly plans as open enrollment progressed.
In the release, eHealth Chair and CEO Gary Lauer said the report "shows what the average consumer is able to pay for new ACA-compliant plans, without any premium assistance," adding that the data are the first "snapshot of enrollment trends outside of government exchanges" (eHealth release, 2/26).
Calif. Premiums Surpass National Averages in Q4 2013
The report notes that premiums in California were slightly higher than national averages.
Nationally, monthly premiums for individual health plans sold on eHealth during the fourth quarter of 2013 averaged $171 for plans that did not meet the ACA's requirements. In comparison, 2014 plans sold during that time that did meet the law's requirements had premiums of about $309 per month on average.
Monthly premiums for individual plans sold through eHealth in California averaged $193 in Q4 2013, compared with $331 for 2014 plans that met ACA requirements.
However, annual deductibles for 2014 plans averaged $3,396 in California -- $86 lower than the national average ("Money & Co.," Los Angeles Times, 2/26).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.