MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA–(Marketwired – Jul 5, 2017) – AgileHealthInsurance.com today released the results of a nationwide poll that revealed an overwhelming majority of Americans desire additional health plan choices alongside Obamacare. The poll asked adults across the nation, “Do you believe that Obamacare should be the only private health plan option available for consumers to purchase?” Respondents were given the option to select either “Yes, Obamacare should be the only option” or “No, consumers should have more options.” 82 percent of respondents rejected Obamacare as the only private health plan choice in favor of more health plan alternatives. In contrast, less than one-in-five respondents (18 percent) supported Obamacare as the lone consumer option for private health insurance.
“The widespread support for health plan choice is quite simply astonishing,” said Bruce Telkamp, founder and CEO of AgileHealthInsurance.com. “More than three years after the introduction of Obamacare, we didn’t expect an overwhelming percentage of Americans to prefer more health plan choices alongside Obamacare plans. We expected that percentage to fall more closely along political party affiliation — at a 50 percent breakdown nationally. The poll results certainly repudiate politicians who advocate a private health insurance market that gives Obamacare plans a monopoly status.”
Prior to 2014, the largest segment of the private health insurance market purchased by consumers was individual and family health plans (IFP plans). IFP plans covered over 11 million Americans, were regulated at the state level and had over 200 insurance companies issuing policies. Consumers could apply for an IFP plan at any time. The average IFP plan premium was $232 a month, less than half the average premium of a 2017 Obamacare plan that now exists three years later. In most states, IFP plans were medically underwritten at the time of initial application, like life insurance is today. These IFP plans disappeared from the private health insurance market at the beginning of 2014 due to Obamacare requirements that mandated new insurance design standards and also created health exchanges where only Obamacare-compliant plans were sold.
Today short-term health insurance is one of the few remaining health insurance options other than Obamacare that has survived in the post-reform private health insurance market, and short-term plans have many similarities to the pre-reform IFP plans. Short-term health insurance plans are designed for consumers in-between more permanent forms of health coverage. Consumers choose short-term health plans for a number of reasons with the most common being a loss of prior coverage from sources such as an employer, a parent’s health plan, a college health plan, or Medicaid. As was the case with the pre-reform IFP plans, short-term health plans are primarily regulated at the state level and are not required to cover pre-existing conditions. Because short-term plans do not include all requirements and coverage mandates of Obamacare plans, the average premium for a short-term plan is about half the cost of an Obamacare plan. Short-term health insurance does not protect consumers from paying the Obamacare penalty. However, the IRS indicated Feb. 15 that they are relaxing the rules enforcing the individual mandate and will process tax returns even if a consumer does not specify whether they had approved health coverage.
The poll results are based on 1,200 responses to a nationwide survey conducted from June 21, 2017, to June 23, 2017. The survey asked respondents, “Do you believe that Obamacare should be the Only private health plan option for consumers to purchase?” Respondents had the option of selecting one of the following two answers: “Yes, Obamacare should be the only option,” and “No, consumers should have more options.” The survey was displayed to adults between 18 and 64 years old within a network of over 100 different news websites and other content sites. Race, education, and health insurance status were not examined. Margin of error across survey responses is estimated at +2.3%/-2.3%. Media inquiries regarding the survey results or its methodology can be directed to AgileHealthInsurance via their PR firm at [email protected].
AgileHealthInsurance.com was created to educate people about the benefits of short-term health insurance and provide 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 independently managed division of Health Insurance Innovations, Inc. (NASDAQ: HIIQ). 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.
Amy Fletcher Faircloth