Privately Purchased Health Coverage Affordable, Comprehensive, eHealthInsurance Study Finds
Health coverage purchased directly by individuals and families is "generally less expensive and more comprehensive" than previously thought, according to a new eHealthInsurance study. eHealthInsurance examined the purchasing decisions of 20,000 customers who bought coverage through the company's Web site, www.eHealthInsurance.com, and found that the average premiums for individual or family policies ranged from $1,200 to $1,500 per person per year. The study also found that 88% of the individual policies and 84% of family plans purchased provided "comprehensive" rather than "basic" coverage. House Majority Leader Richard Armey (R-Texas) and Rep. Nancy Johnson (R-Conn.) said the findings will help "advance the debate" on using tax credits to expand coverage to the uninsured. Johnson said, "The data generated by eHealthInsurance provides key insight into the real difference that tax credit legislation ... can make. The proposed tax credits are specific to health insurance relief and are targeted incentives for reducing the number of uninsured Americans." The study found that half of the plans purchased through eHealthInsurance.com charge premiums that are "fully within" the proposed tax credit amounts of $1,000 for individuals and $2,500 for families. Also, three-quarters of the plans charge premiums within 75% to 100% of the proposed tax credits. Armey said, "This study proves that a $1,000 tax credit is quite generous enough to buy not just bare-bones but rather solid coverage -- not just doctor visits but prescription drugs, not just an insurance card but peace of mind" (eHealthInsurance release, 6/21).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.