eHealthInsurance.com Investor Relations – News Release
eHealth survey results among young adults show their idea of a fair price for health insurance is a fraction of today’s market average; eHealth provides helpful guidance for college grads looking for coverage
Fifty-two percent of young adults age 18-24 identified
$100/month or less a “fair” price for health insurance, yet the average unsubsidized individual in that age band is paying $257per month*.
- More than 60 percent of young adults claim that all plans should provide coverage for maternity care, birth control, and mental health care; however, fewer than 40 percent are willing to pay higher premiums for these services.
- Seventy-six percent of young adults said that health care/insurance was among their top three issues when it comes to voting, which may play a factor in this fall’s midterm elections.
Based on its survey and experience serving the health insurance needs of thousands of young adults every year, eHealth has identified the five most common health insurance pitfalls made by recent grads, and offers insights about how to avoid them:
Health Insurance Pitfalls for Recent Grads and Young Adults
Sticking with Mom and Dad’s plan when moving out of state.
If you’re still covered by your parents’ health insurance policy, but plan to leave the state once you graduate, think about getting your own coverage. A recent eHealth survey found that 27 percent of young adults age 18-24 said affordable out-of-pocket costs (deductibles and copayments) were the most important consideration when choosing a health plan. Health insurance plans typically require you to pay a lot more out of your own pocket – in some cases you’ll get no help from insurance at all – when you get medical care from doctors and hospitals that don’t participate in your health plan’s provider network; networks generally include only health care providers located within a particular region. If you’re moving to a new state after graduation, you’ll likely lose access to your current plan’s in-network providers, meaning going to the doctor will get a lot pricier. Contact your insurance company to make sure you know how your coverage works (or doesn’t) in your new city, and shop for a new plan if you’ll need it.
Failing to take advantage of health insurance subsidies.
Seventy-three percent of young adults said they earn
Enrolling in a catastrophic plan when you qualify for subsidies.
Fifty percent of young adults age 18-34 chose catastrophic plans at
eHealth.com during the last open enrollment period, paying
Thinking you’re off the hook for the tax penalty this year.
It’s never a good idea to go uninsured, but healthy young people are sometimes tempted to do it. You might be doubly tempted if you already heard that the tax penalty for going uninsured was repealed. But the repeal doesn’t take effect until 2019, meaning if you go without health insurance coverage for more than two consecutive months in 2018 you may still face a hefty penalty on your federal tax return. In eHealth’s survey, only 25 percent of young adults age 18-24 considered themselves well informed about the repeal of the ACA’s tax penalty for going uninsured. Some young adults who don’t qualify for subsidies and can’t afford major medical coverage turn to short-term coverage instead, so as not to go entirely uninsured, but be aware that short-term plans do not protect against the 2018 tax penalty.
Not taking advantage of a qualifying life event to shop for coverage.
There’s a brief nationwide open enrollment period around each November when anyone can sign up for a new self-purchased health insurance plan. Outside of that, you need to experience what’s called a “qualifying life event.” Getting married, having a child, moving to a new coverage area, or the loss of other qualifying forms of coverage are among the life events that can earn you sixty days in which to sign up for a new health plan. Know when you’ve had a qualifying life event and make the most of it!