MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., May 9, 2018 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Given the expected decision for the Trump administration to undo the three-month coverage limitation on short-term health insurance, AgileHealthInsurance investigated what the current price differences are between entry-level Obamacare bronze plans (without subsidies) and short-term plans with similar deductibles and out-of-pocket expense limits. When looking at men and women ages 30, 40, and 50, AgileHealthInsurance found that short-term health plan premiums were on average 75 percent less expensive than unsubsidized Obamacare bronze plans. Premium savings averaged $352 per month. Men and women age 50 had the greatest monthly savings in dollars, $412 and $423 respectively. In terms of percentage of premium expenses reduced, 30 year-olds had the greatest benefit. For both men and women, a 30 year-old's average premium was 80 percent less for short-term insurance than for an unsubsidized 2018 Obamacare bronze plan. For 50 year-olds, the savings percentage was 70 percent.
While the tax penalty for not having health insurance compliant with the Affordable Care Act is eliminated for 2019, it is still in force in 2018 unless a consumer qualifies for an exemption. However, Agile still found significant price advantages for short-term plans even when factoring in the Obamacare tax penalty. For example, at a household income of $50,400, a 30 year-old female that pays the uninsured penalty still saves $220 a month on premium expenses with short term insurance versus an unsubsidized bronze plan. For men, the saving was $225 per month.
Agile also found that the price advantage short-term plans have over unsubsidized bronze plans increased significantly in 2018, as compared to 2016 when a similar analysis was performed. In the 2016 ACA enrollment period, bronze plan premiums were 55 percent more expensive than the short-term plans for 30 year-old and 50 year-old males. In 2018, savings range expanded from 69 percent for a 50 year-old male to 82 percent for a 30 year-old male. For women, the savings was 71 percent for 50 year-olds to 80 percent for 30 year-olds.
"As insurers and consumers await confirmation whether 12-month short-term health coverage will return to the market in 2018, we see that short-term plans have preserved their exceptionally low premiums in 2018 and have, in fact, become even more affordable when compared to ACA/Obamacare plans," observed Bruce Telkamp, founder and CEO of AgileHealthInsurance.com. "The affordability of short term health plans is central to their intended purpose as these plans primarily cover Americans who have lost employment income, lost their student or parent coverage, or otherwise have been priced out of the high premium cost Obamacare market. For all these impacted groups, inexpensive coverage makes the crucial difference between having insurance or going uninsured."
It should be noted that there are significant differences between short-term health plans and bronze plans that go beyond price. For example, bronze plans must accept all applicants regardless of health status and cover pre-existing medical conditions. Short-term plans, in contrast, may reject some applicants with expensive pre-existing conditions and they typically do not pay for healthcare related to medical conditions that began prior to the insurance policy's effective date.
The full report, Price Advantage of Short-Term Insurance Over Obamacare Widens in 2018, along with its methodology can be reviewed at AgileHealthInsurance.com.
AgileHealthInsurance.com was launched in 2015 to educate consumers on the availability of private market health insurance products that are alternatives to Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) plans. Today AgileHealthInsurance is the largest distributor of short-term health insurance, providing a fast, online process for purchasing these plans. Short-term health insurance is a flexible and low-cost major medical insurance for individuals without expensive pre-existing health conditions. It is not Obamacare. Short-term health plans offer consumers the flexibility to choose health plans with the benefits that matter most to them and combine these benefits with broad provider networks. Additional information about AgileHealthInsurance can be found at www.AgileHealthInsurance.com.
AgileHealthInsurance is a Silicon Valley-based technology company and an independently managed division of Health Insurance Innovations, Inc. (Nasdaq: HIIQ). AgileHealthInsurance and its executives hold licenses in all 50 states and D.C. to transact health insurance online. This press release contains "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements are statements other than historical fact, and may include statements relating to goals, plans and projections regarding new markets, products, services, growth strategies, anticipated trends in our business and anticipated changes and developments in the United States health insurance system and laws. Forward-looking statements are based on our current assumptions, expectations and beliefs are generally identifiable by use of words "may," "might," "will," "should," "expects," "plans," "anticipates," "believes," "estimates," "predicts," "potential" or "continue," or similar expressions and involve significant risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results, developments and business decisions to differ materially from those contemplated by these statements. These risks and uncertainties include, among other things, our ability to maintain relationships and develop new relationships with health insurance carriers and distributors, our ability to retain our members, the demand for our products, the amount of commissions paid to us or changes in health insurance plan pricing practices, our ability to integrate our acquisitions, competition, changes and developments in the United States health insurance system and laws, and our ability to adapt to them, the ability to maintain and enhance our name recognition, difficulties arising from acquisitions or other strategic transactions, and our ability to build the necessary infrastructure and processes to maintain effective controls over financial reporting. These and other risk factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied in our forward-looking statements are discussed in HIIQ's most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) as well as other documents that may be filed by HIIQ from time to time with the Securities and Exchange Commission, which are available at www.sec.gov. Any forward-looking statement made by us in this press release is based only on information currently available to us and speaks only as of the date on which it is made. You should not rely on any forward-looking statement as representing our views in the future. We undertake no obligation to publicly update any forward-looking statement, whether written or oral, that may be made from time to time, whether as a result of new information, future developments or otherwise.