March 18, 2015
Can anything be done about health insurance high premiums? High deductibles? Both?
At eHealth, we want you to be happy with the health plan you buy. After all, we’re only in business because customers like our service.
Our services are free to you, and insurance plans have the same regulated price no matter where you buy them.
But customers choose to buy plans through us because we strive to help you pick the right plan. Unlike the government or insurance companies, our business depends on providing you great service.
In an effort to better measure customer satisfaction, we’ve started something we call eHealth’s Coverage Satisfaction Index 1*. which is an ongoing study tracking national consumer sentiment on health insurance.
We correlate the results with Americans’ overall feelings about their health and financial standing.
WHAT DID WE LEARN?
- Good News: 84% of our customers were satisfied with their health insurance plan – more than the general population at 78%.
- Bad News: 62% of our customers cited an expensive medical emergency as their top financial fear.
- More bad news: Nearly half (48%) identified the monthly cost of their coverage as the thing they were least satisfied with.
- And, even more bad news: 61% said they would have difficulty paying their deductible if faced with a major medical expense.
- Among those with a subsidy, 73%said their deductible was higher than they could afford.
- Among those not using a subsidy, 57% said they may not be able to afford their deductible.
In summary, we’re doing a little better than others when it comes to helping people find a plan they’re satisfied with, but nearly half of you feel monthly premiums are too high – even with subsidies – and more than half are concerned about being able to pay your deductible.
WHAT CAN BE DONE?
At eHealth, we’re not an insurance company, so we can’t control the prices or deductibles, but we are the nation’s largest private online
marketplace for health insurance.
As a marketplace, we can and do take customer feedback and give it to insurance companies and the government to help improve the products available to you. And, we can recommend to you products that can help protect you and your family.
FEEDBACK FOR EHEALTH
If you want to share thoughts and insights with the insurance industry and government, please take our anonymous online survey. Your feedback and insights may be published as part of an eHealth research report (without revealing your identity), or used in other communications. Take our survey
OTHER HEALTH INSURANCE PRODUCTS
We hear the high deductible complaint often. We also hear from customers who say, “Even if I could pay my deductible, if I’m sick and I miss work, I can’t pay my bills!”
If this is a concern for you, we encourage you to look at Critical Illness Insurance and Accident Insurance. For a relatively low monthly premium (the 23-city average on our site was in the $23 -$27 range in 2014 – see research ), these types of plans typically pay the policyholder cash when they have a qualified claim.
Accident Insurance : Benefits vary from plan to plan, but these plans typically pay you directly when you experience a qualifying injury covered by your policy.
Critical Illness Insurance: Plans make payments to customers when they’re diagnosed with an illness covered by your policy – like heart attack, stroke, or cancer.
* eHealth’s Coverage Satisfaction Index (CSI) uses data from two separate studies.
First, we hired by Wakefield Research to conduct a poll of over 1,000 Americans (including 500 who buy their own health insurance) and track national consumer sentiment around health insurance, general health, and financial standing. That report was published on January 22, 2015 (read the report ).
Second, eHealth conducted an email survey of 1,562 customers who bought their own insurance at eHealth.com. Results were published on February 9, 2015 (read the report ).
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