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Policy Characteristics for 2015 Exchange Purchases

By January 23, 2015Commentary

eHealth Insurance is a large on-line health insurance broker through which people can access the reform law exchanges.  The company released data on people enrolling for plans through the exchanges during the period from November 15, the first day of enrollment, through December 31st, for non-subsidy-eligible coverage for 2015.   (eHealth Release)   Comparing 11/15 to 12/31, or early shoppers versus later ones, on 11/15 the average individual monthly premium was $317 with an average deductible of $3571.  On 12/31, the average individual plan selected had a premium that was a 12% less and deductible that was 10% higher, suggesting that later shoppers may have been more price sensitive.  For family coverage the average premium on 11/15 was $748 and the mean deductible was $6833.  For those selecting family coverage on 12/31, the average premium was 1% lower, and the average deductible was 14% higher.  The average age of shoppers on 11/15 was 39 and on 12/31, it was 38.  On 11/15, one-half of the plans selected were silver, gold or platinum, whereas on 12/31, only 42% were.

Overall, so far in the 2015 plan open enrollment, the average individual premium is $304 and the average family one is $751.  The individual premium is about 2% less than for 2014 plans selected in 2013’s open enrollment, and the family premium is about 3% lower.  The average individual deductible was $3933, and 4% increase from the average in 2013, and the average family one was $7633, a 6% increase from that in 2013.  Across various states, premiums were relatively stable, some decreases in averages, some increases.  Deductibles generally rose.  By age individual premiums were:  for 18-24 year-olds, $169; for 25-34, $230; for 35-44, $281; for 45-54, $364; and for 55-64, $528.  Across individual and family plans, by type, 9% were catastrophic; 46% bronze; 25% silver; gold 14% and platinum 6%.  Never ones to sugar-coat, that means that over half the people enrolled in crappy plans.  If you were 50 year-old, across all plans your annual premium would likely be $4368 and your deductible would be another $4000.  That is over $8000 out-of-pocket for crappy coverage.  Isn’t reform great.

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