Short-Term Health Insurance Proves Especially Attractive to Older Consumers, According to eHealth Survey
Key findings from eHealth's survey:
- Affordability is key for many older enrollees: 70 percent of respondents ages 55 to 64 cite affordability as their primary reason for choosing short-term coverage, compared to 53 percent of young adults ages 18 to 24.
- Most consider low premiums more important than comprehensive benefits: 88 percent of people ages 55 to 64 say they value affordable monthly premiums more than comprehensive coverage, compared to 78 percent of those ages 18 to 24.
- Older enrollees want short-term coverage for the long haul: 64 percent of people ages 55 to 64 say they would like to retain short-term coverage for 7 months or longer; by comparison 56 percent of those between the ages of 18 and 24 say they intend to keep their short-term coverage for no more than 6 months
"At eHealth we believe comprehensive coverage is always best, but the fact is that many middle-class Americans don't qualify for subsidies and cannot afford comprehensive ACA plans," said eHealth CEO
While older consumers showed special interest in short-term coverage, eHealth found a change in consumer attitudes across all age bands since the maximum term of short-term policies was extended beyond 90 days, and significant satisfaction with short-term coverage even among those who received medical care while covered by a short-term policy:
- Overall, 61 percent of eHealth's survey respondents say they chose short-term coverage primarily because it was more affordable than their other coverage options; 28 percent say they chose short-term because they only need temporary coverage. A year ago, when short-term plans carried a maximum policy term of 90 days, 27 percent cited affordability while 61 percent said they only needed temporary coverage.
- More than 9 in 10 enrollees are very satisfied (41 percent) or somewhat satisfied (51 percent) with their short-term plan. 86 percent of those who have received medical care while covered by their short-term plan are very or somewhat satisfied with their coverage, despite the fact that short-term plans do not provide the comprehensive coverage available under ACA-compliant plans.
eHealth believes that consumers interested in purchasing short-term health insurance should understand what they're buying and how short-term coverage differs from coverage provided through ACA-compliant health insurance plans. Educational materials are found on the eHealth website and a brief guide to short-term coverage may be found here.
Read eHealth's full survey report for additional findings and analysis.
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