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eHealthInsurance Review: A good way to get health insurance?

Find out all the details about eHealthInsurance to decide if its services can help you find the best health insurance

Last Updated: Jul 1, 2020

eHealthInsurance review

If you’re having trouble finding the right health insurance, you are certainly not alone. It can be a very big challenge. eHealthInsurance is an internet-based platform founded in 1998 by VIP Patel with the goal of giving people easier control over their health insurance coverage. They aim to provide individuals, families, and businesses with most of the relevant insurance providers and plans available.

With over 20 years’ experience as a health insurance consultant, eHealthInsurance is among the leading companies revolutionizing online health services. The big question: is eHealthInsurance right for you?

We’ve tested the service, explored broader customer experiences and dug deep to compare eHealthInsurance to its competition. In this review we will share all of the details to help you decide whether you should give the company a try.

Review Summary

Pros

  • Partners with all of the major insurance companies including Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Aetna, AARP, Coventry Health, Kaiser Permanente, and Humana.
  • Gives you a simple comparison chart for different health insurance plans.
  • Provides a range of parameters for making comparisons, such as price, coverage, and policy information.
  • A toll-free phone number makes it easier to contact customer support.
  • A wide range of insurance options from which to choose.
  • User-friendly interface lets you search through the available options with ease.
  • Ability to search for the available plans accepted by your current health care provider.

Cons

  • Insurance plans’ availability varies depending on your location. Some regions only get short-term policies
  • Unreliable customer service. Even with a toll-free number, you will need to be patient.

Bottom line

If you are in the market for health insurance coverage, we can recommend eHealthInsurance for its wealth of information and plans to browse and compare. We compared other medical insurance brokers with eHealthInsurance to assess how competitive they are in terms of pricing. We found their options quite appealing. With a wide range of plans from which to choose and available coverage for individuals, family, and small businesses, there is indeed something for everyone.

Our Top Picks

eHealthInsurance

eHealthInsurance gives you a convenient way to compare and shop for health insurance, with over 180 participating companies.

With user-friendly navigation and browsing options and a vast array of insurance options from which to choose, eHealthInsurance can help you find good health insurance within your budget.

Why you should trust us

Innerbody Research recently celebrated its 20-year anniversary. Over the past two decades, we have helped tens of millions of readers make more informed decisions about staying healthy and living healthier lifestyles.

This review, like all medical-related content on this website, is thoroughly vetted by one or more members of our Medical Review Board for accuracy. Additionally, we extensively analyze each health-related service we review. We evaluate the entire customer experience from signing up use of the product or service, and then offer unbiased, marketing-jargon-free analysis based on the latest scientific evidence and medical standards.

How does eHealthInsurance work?

eHealthInsurance serves as a kind of health insurance marketplace. The company is headquartered in Mountain View, California but has a license to operate in all the 50 states as well as the District of Columbia.

You don’t need to pay anything in order to use eHealthInsurance. The company presents you with all of the available insurance plans in its network – options that you can refine based on your chosen criteria – and helps you compare the plans in order to find the best one for your needs.

The company’s network currently features 180 health insurance companies. eHealthInsurance has different categories of health insurance. Each category contains different options depending on your location, type of coverage (HMO, PPO, PFFS, or MSA), your desired subscription plans, and other criteria.

eHealthInsurance also has a team of experts who leverage technology, networking, and knowledge of the industry to improve the quality of healthcare and enhance transparency.

Through the company’s online platform, you’ll have access to detailed information with just a few clicks. They also make for a great alternative to the federal government’s healthcare.gov, which is not so bad itself but has a few limitations that eHealthInsurance aims to overcome. For instance, heathcare.gov features fewer providers and plans. eHealthInsurance has about 45% more available plans, compared to healthcare.gov.

The process of getting a no-obligation health insurance quotation is simple and easy with eHealthInsurance.

  1. On the company’s main web page, you will be prompted to enter your zip code.

  2. From here, input your gender, date of birth, and tobacco use by you or any of your family members in the last 12 months.

  3. Lastly, you will indicate whether any of you is a full-time college student.

This information enables eHealthInsurance to match you with a wide selection of suitable health insurance plans.

Are you looking to understand more about the tax credits surrounding the Affordable Care Act or do you simply want to compare health insurance quotes, products, and coverage details? Either way, eHealthInsurance provides a one-stop experience for all of that information and more.

Once you find the right insurance plan, eHealthInsurance will still be your primary contact even after you have enrolled for coverage with the respective company. eHealthInsurance handles all the logistics and answers any questions you may have.

How much does eHealthInsurance cost?

eHealthInsurance’s services are totally free for you. eHealthInsurance does not actually receive any money directly from you, even after you have enrolled in a plan. What they do instead is link you up with one of their 180 partners. These partner companies receive your money and give you the coverage. As a broker, eHealthInsurance only earns a commission from vendors, rather than charging you.

Once you find a plan, you will be charged by the insurance company itself. The price of your insurance naturally depends upon the plan that you choose.

Types of insurance plans offered by eHealthInsurance

eHealthInsurance aims to bridge the gap between individuals and the health insurance market by providing a wide range of insurance and Medicare plans. At their disposal are services such as Medicare Supplement Insurance, Prescription Drug Part D and Medicare Advantage, among other policies listed below.

After an in-depth review, we categorized the various health insurance plans offered by eHealthInsurance into:

  • Medicare
  • Individual & Family
  • Small Business
  • Other Insurance

Medicare

Under the Medicare health insurance plan, eHealthInsurance offers more than just the normal federal programs. You’ll find options such as the Medicare Supplement plan, Medicare Prescription Drugs plan, and Medicare Advantage plans. The good news is that with any of these plans, you can be assured of full cost payment of Medicare Part A hospital coinsurance.

Medicare Supplement Plan (Medigap)

The Medigap plan can be a great option if you choose to remain with Original Medicare, because it helps in paying for the out-of-pocket costs. Some of the costs that you can pay using the Medigap plan include deductibles, coinsurance, and copayment.

Medicare supplement plans differ with regard to what they cover, and we found some of them being less comprehensive than others. The downside is that eHealthInsurance’s current Medigap plans don’t provide prescription drug coverage. This means that you can’t use any of them along with the Medicare Advantage plans.

Medicare Advantage

Medicare Advantage, as provided by eHealthInsurance, covers Medicare Part C subscribers – an alternative to Part A and B Medicare. This type of insurance coverage is provided by private health insurers as approved by Medicare.

This plan is tailored to offer you similar benefits to those of Original Medicare as legally required, but Medicare Advantage comes with additional coverage, including dental insurance benefits, routine vision benefits, prescription drug, and wellness program coverage. As you can see, unlike the previous plans, Medicare Advantage saves you from having to enroll into a separate Medicare Prescription Drug plan.

Here are the Medicare Advantage Plans offered by eHealthInsurance:

  • Special Needs Plans (SNPs)
  • Private Fee-for-Service (PFFS)
  • Medicare Medical Savings Account plans (MSA)
  • Preferred Provider Organization plans (PPO)
  • Health Maintenance Organization plans (HMO)

Medicare Prescription Drug

If you need help with prescription drugs, you’ll be recommended to enroll for Medicare Part D. eHealthInsurance provides this insurance coverage in two ways. The first one was described under the Medicare Advantage and the second one, which is for those of us who enrolled for Medicare Part A and B, happens through Original Medicare. This standalone Medicare Prescription plan will run simultaneously with benefits under your Original Medicare.

The health insurance costs here are the same as everywhere else, so there are no price incentives. eHealthInsurance Medicare Advantage plans that show $0 monthly premiums are not as “free” as they look. This only applies in the sense that no additional monthly premiums will be charged for that Medicare Advantage. However, remember since you would normally be enrolled in Medicare Part B while covered by the Medicare Advantage plan, you will still be paying monthly premiums for that particular Medicare Part B plan.

Moreover, since eHealth will be connecting you with private insurance companies who offer the Medicare Advantage plans, these companies have some hidden charges either through hiked copays or coinsurance costs to cushion the loss on the $0 monthly premium Medicare Advantage plan.

Additionally, a $0 monthly premium Medicare Advantage plan may also cost you heavily when it comes to deductibles. Deductibles are the monies paid out of your own pocket before a Medicare Advantage plan – or any other plan, for that matter – starts to clear your medical bills. In the case of a $0 monthly premium Medicare Advantage, the deductibles are charged separately to the medical and prescription drugs. Therefore, you could come across a plan with a $0 medical deductible, but in reality you have a prescription drug deductible as high as $1000.

Be cautious and thoroughly scrutinize all the plans while shopping for your preferred Medicare health insurance. Note that the only possibility of enjoying some relief when it comes to the Medicare monthly premiums is if you are also covered by Medicaid. In such a case, you may not be required to pay any premiums, coinsurance, copay or deductibles.

Individual and family plans

The family and individual health insurance plans offered by eHealthInsurance come in handy, especially during a serious medical emergency. This health insurance coverage helps you to save costs on doctor visits, preventive care, prescription drugs, and a host of other healthcare services.

A typical eHealthInsurance plan for you as an individual includes yearly deductibles, copay, coinsurance, and monthly premium costs.

The company has three types of health coverage for family and individuals. These are Medical Indemnity, Short-Term, and Affordable Care Acts plans.

Medical indemnity plans

You may know these as fee-for-service plans. Under the medical indemnity plan, you receive a fixed amount of money for health services you’re seeking. For instance, if you visit a doctor, the insurance company gives you $100 irrespective of the actual fee you’ll end up being charged by the doctor.

Since they’re limited in nature, we wouldn’t recommend them as standalone insurance coverage. However, when combined with other plans, we found medical indemnity to be convenient, especially in settling out-of-pocket expenses such as coinsurance and copayment costs.

The other shortcoming of this insurance plan is that it does not cover preexisting medical conditions.

Affordable Care Act (ACA) plan

Currently, ACA plans are some of the most inclusive health insurance plans on the market. eHealthInsurance recommends these plans for both outpatient and inpatient. If your goal is to save on hospital stays, doctor visits, preventative care, prescription drugs, and medical emergencies, then you’ll find the Affordable Care Act plans to be useful. Perhaps the most beneficial aspect of these plans is that they have no bias. Therefore you can enroll even if you have a preexisting condition.

Short-term plans

eHealthInsurance also markets short-term plans if you happen to miss the cutoff to apply for the ACA plan.

These short-term plans can also be great alternatives if the ACA plans are unaffordable for you. However, with these plans you won’t be able to enjoy any state tax exemptions. Additionally, the short-term plans have less coverage compared to the more comprehensive ACA plans.

If you are considering any of these plans on eHealthInsurance, note that the company categorically forewarns you that you may not be eligible for other health insurance such as COBRA and ACA.

Cost implications of family and individual health insurance plans

A majority of the family and individual insurance plans will be filed and charged by your state’s department of insurance. This means that prices will be the same across various insurance companies.

That aside, you’ll need to be extra vigilant when selecting your plan because some may have unforeseen cost implications.

For instance, if you opt for a medical indemnity plan, you’ll enjoy the freedom of choosing your preferred doctor or health facility. But there’s a catch: that freedom will require you to pay a yearly deductible before the insurer commences payments for your claims. The claims will be paid according to the set UCR rate. This is the customary and reasonable rate generally charged by health care providers in your area.

Additionally, with such a plan you will be required to pay in advance for any services and then submit a claim to your insurance company for reimbursement. This can be an inconvenience if you don’t have enough cash on you when seeking medical services.

Small business healthcare insurance

According to the Affordable Care Act, small businesses are required to offer their workers health insurance. Small businesses have been using insurance coverage as one of the incentives for luring new employees and retaining existing ones.

eHealthInsurance has widened its net to attract these companies by offering small business insurance plans with tax incentives. Small business insurance has certain aspects you need to understand:

  • Guaranteed coverage as required by law
  • The small business needs at least a single employee to be eligible for these types of insurance
  • The small business is allowed to shop for insurance at any one time throughout the year

eHealthInsurance offers average small businesses of 5 employees a health insurance plan at a total cost of $1,432 in monthly premiums. The most common health plans include HMO, PPO and the POS-which is a hybrid of the first two.

Other health insurance plans

Apart from the aforementioned insurance plans, eHealthInsurance offers other short-term plans for its clients. These include:

  • GAP Insurance – A cash payout insurance plan that is taken as a supplemental for other comprehensive plans.
  • Vision Insurance – This plan may cover eye checkups as well as the cost of contact lenses or glasses.
  • Dental Insurance – Basic and preventive dental care insurance.

Other Services

eHealthInsurance offers more than just insurance quotes; the company also provides other informative services on a range of topics. You’ll find a rich array of information on the Affordable Care Act, insurance companies, medical plans by state, Medicaid, prescription drug savings, and how to find a doctor.

Is eHealthInsurance for me?

Generally, eHealthInsurance does a good job of offering open plans suitable for everyone (Affordable Care Act and similar comprehensive plans). However, there are certain eligibility criteria for specific plans. One of these is the Medicare Advantage plan. In order to qualify, you must have enrolled in Part A and Part B Original Medicare.

Additionally, eHealthInsurance only enrolls you if you are not suffering from end-stage renal disease (ESRD). However, the good news for ESRD patients is that you can take advantage of other exceptional plans, such as the Special Needs Plan.

The Medicare Prescription Drug insurance plan is also one you’ll need to approach with a lot of caution. You must be living in the service area and must have enrolled in Medicare Part A and Part B.

Privacy

eHealthInsurance has a sound privacy policy that illustrates how they handle the personal information they request from you. The company will not disclose your personal information to any third parties.

However, under certain conditions – such as when you apply for insurance – your personal information may be shared with third parties. When you apply for insurance, some required information will be shared with insurance companies, a trusted agent, HAS trustees, business partners, administrators and government-run entities.

Your personal information will also be shared with service providers who work with eHealthInsurance in processing your application. Such service providers may be consulted to verify your credit card limit, among other details.

If you’re worried about the safety of your information online, you can rest easier knowing that eHealthInsurance encrypts all data you enter into their website, using Secure Socket Layer (SSL) technology.

eHealthInsurance is fully secured by Norton, certified safe by TRUSTe, and accredited by BBB.

What criteria do we use to evaluate health services?

We customize our evaluation criteria depending on the type and nature of the health service or product. For most products and services, we have five areas that we use for our evaluations, including:

Quality: How well does the company deliver its core service(s) to the customer? Is the quality of the product or service high enough that we would recommend it to loved ones without hesitation? Does the company have a high quality medical review board with oversight? Do the testing companies use the latest and most accurate testing technologies available? How accurate are the tests compared to alternatives?

Value: Are you getting your money’s worth? Are there any hidden costs or charges? Does the provider offer discounts or free services to our readers?

Customer Support: How well does the company provide information about its product or service? How clearly are options presented? How clearly are test results presented? How well does the testing company help you understand results and get treatment if necessary?

Privacy: Are all products sent in discreet packaging? Will your data be stored securely? Could your data ever be shared without your permission?

Speed: How fast will you receive your product or test results, from the moment you click “buy?” Are the waiting times stated by the company accurate and consistent?

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