eHealth publishes first research report on Signature: Health Insurance Trends

Key findings from a survey of 4,700+ consumers and more than two dozen major insurers in the United States include:

54% say COVID vaccines shouldn’t be a legal requirement

60% support the expansion of Medicare

74% want government action on drug costs

52% of insurers do not anticipate an increase in tariffs due to COVID

SANTA CLARA, California., May 26, 2021 / PRNewswire / – Today, eHealth, Inc. (NASDAQ: EHTH) released the first edition of its biannual signature research series: Health Insurance Trends. The report provides a firsthand analysis of survey responses and interviews collected from more than 4,700 consumers and two dozen insurers across three megatrends dominating the healthcare market today: COVID-19, technology and innovation, and public policy reform.

Hundreds of millions of Americans have felt the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic not only in their personal lives, but also in their interactions with healthcare providers. As the pandemic subsides, the healthcare market is nearing a tipping point in its digital transformation and entering a promising new era: healthcare is expanding online, new technologies unleash innovation, and the Medicare industry is experiencing renewed vitality and the Affordable Care Act (ACA ) Markets that could lead to significant expansion.

Most important findings

On questions of public order:

  • 60% are in favor of expanding access to Medicare in some form, be it making Medicare available to all Americans (28%), reducing the eligibility age to 60 (18%), or allowing adults over 50 to shop early (Dec. %).

  • 49% say Medicare should continue to be run through public-private collaboration between government and insurers; only 16% believe that government alone should run the Medicare program.

  • 74% say the federal government should negotiate directly with drug manufacturers to cut costs; 86% of Medicare beneficiaries see the same thing.

Insights from insurers:

  • 52% of insurers say they don’t expect tariffs to rise due to the COVID pandemic; 39% expect the rates to increase, but not more than 5%.

  • 33% of insurers are likely to make changes to plan benefits due to the pandemic, with 86% of respondents saying changes to their telemedicine and mental health benefits are likely.

  • 55% of insurers report an increase in telemedicine use of 50% or more in the pre-pandemic period; many report an increase in the use of mental health benefits.

On COVID, vaccines and surprising medical bills:

The story goes on

  • 69% say they got a surprising medical bill, but of those 67% say the bill was surprising because they didn’t understand how their insurance coverage worked. Fewer Medicare beneficiaries (54%) say they have had a surprising medical bill in the past.

  • Most (54%) say vaccination against COVID shouldn’t be a legal requirement, but a similar number (53%) say that proof of vaccination should be required for all air travel (domestic and international).

  • After the pandemic, half (51%) go on cruises less often, while around a third go to a concert (36%), go to the cinema (35%), travel by plane (34%) or eat in a restaurant less often (33%) %).

At the interface of technology and healthcare:

  • 54% say they would choose to share their personal medical history with a legal representative if it helps them find a better health plan for their personal needs and budget; 59% of Medicare beneficiaries feel the same way.

  • 49% say private companies do better than the state when it comes to innovation in healthcare, while 20% say the state is better; those numbers are 53% and 14% for Medicare benefit recipients, respectively.

Read the full report for in-depth analysis and additional information.

About eHealth

eHealth, Inc. (NASDAQ: EHTH) operates a leading health insurance marketplace at and with technology that provides consumer health insurance registration solutions. Since 1997, we’ve connected more than 8 million members with quality, affordable health insurance, Medicare options, and supplementary plans. Our proprietary marketplace offers Medicare Advantage, Medicare Supplement, Medicare Part D Prescription Drugs, individual, family, small business, and other plans from over 180 health insurance carriers in fifty states and the United States District of Columbia.

For media inquiries, please contact: [email protected]

eHealth, Inc. (PRNewsfoto / eHealth, Inc.)



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