I’m having no luck getting a reply from eHealthInsurance.com (albeit I’ve approached them in a rather roundabaout route via their sponsored blogger!) about this study they put out last week. They claim that people buying high-deductible health plans from their site found that compared to last year their premiums fell an average of $29 per month. Given that those plans are pretty cheap anyway, that’s a pretty big fall. And several people have emailed me or referenced this study. (More details here and the report itself is here [PDF]). But when did you ever hear of health insurance premiums falling when health care costs continue to rise?
On further review there are more questions than answers. Who got insurance? Was this group more underwritten (i.e. healthier) than the previous year? And what benefits were they getting compared to last year? And were there changes in deductibles, co-pays and out of pocket maximums?
Just saying that the premium went down is a bit like saying the average price of a BMW 3 series is less this year on average because more people are buying them without the fully loaded options. And if it’s really true that apples for apples the premiums went down why didn’t eHealthinsurance.com put that information in the report?
Anyone who can shed light on this, please get in touch.