sad piggy bank Eighty percent ofthose who opted for short-term insurance say that affordablemonthly premiums are more important to them than comprehensivemedical benefits. (Photo: Shutterstock)

|

Why do people opt for short-term insurance over Affordable Care Actplans? Mainly because it costs less and it meets theirhealth care needs, particularly for older workers, according toeHealth's “Short-Term Consumer Survey.”

|

eHealth polled more than 800 consumers who purchased short-termhealth insurance products through eHealth, and found that 61percent did so because of its relative affordability. Drilling downby age, older respondents age 55 to 64 were even more concernedabout affordability than younger people age 35 to 44 (70 percentvs. 60 percent).

|

Related: Who's buying short-term health insurance, andwhy?

|

Affordability also trumps the need for comprehensive medicalbenefits – as 80 percent of those who opted for short-terminsurance say that affordable monthly premiums are more importantto them than comprehensive medical benefits. Respondents ages 55 to64 are least likely to cite comprehensive benefits – such asmaternity care – over affordable premiums (12 percent vs. 88percent, respectively).

|

“At eHealth we believe comprehensive coverage is always best,but the fact is that many middle-class Americans don't qualify forsubsidies and cannot afford comprehensive ACA plans,” says eHealthCEO Scott Flanders. “As demonstrated by our survey results,affordability may be a greater concern for older Americans who facesignificantly higher monthly premiums than younger adults whenbuying ACA coverage. Short-term plans may offer many their onlyalternative to going uninsured.”

|

Another reason to opt for short-term insurance — the need fortemporary coverage, cited as the major factor for 28 percent of therespondents. Temporary coverage is more important for youngerpeople: 33 percent for people ages 18 to 24 and 32 percent forpeople ages 25 to 34, compared to 23 percent of those between theages of 55 and 64.

|

A majority 69 percent of respondents say their short-term healthinsurance plan provides coverage for the benefits they value most.Older enrollees and men are more likely to say this: 78 percent ofrespondents age 55 to 64 responded to this question affirmatively,compared to 66 percent of those age 25 to 34 — 75 percent of menagree with this sentiment, compared to 65 percent of women.

|

Wealthier enrollees are more satisfied with short-term benefits:77 percent of those with a household income greater than $100,000say that short-term coverage offers the benefits they valued most,compared to 65 percent of those with a household income of lessthan $25,000 per year.

|

About a (23 percent) of short-term enrollees have receivedmedical care while covered by their short-term plan, includingvisiting the doctor when sick (54 percent); receiving some type ofpreventive medical care, such as check-ups or tests (43 percent);receiving prescription drugs (25 percent) and visiting the hospitalemergency room (12 percent).

|

Nearly all of the respondents are satisfied with theirshort-term coverage — 40 percent are very satisfied and 51 percentare somewhat satisfied. Among those who received medical care whilecovered by their short-term plan, 79 percent found that their plancovered what they expected it would.

|

Read more: 

Complete your profile to continue reading and get FREE access to BenefitsPRO, part of your ALM digital membership.

  • Critical BenefitsPRO information including cutting edge post-reform success strategies, access to educational webcasts and videos, resources from industry leaders, and informative Newsletters.
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM, BenefitsPRO magazine and BenefitsPRO.com events
  • Access to other award-winning ALM websites including ThinkAdvisor.com and Law.com
NOT FOR REPRINT

© 2024 ALM Global, LLC, All Rights Reserved. Request academic re-use from www.copyright.com. All other uses, submit a request to [email protected]. For more information visit Asset & Logo Licensing.