UPDATED: Nov 30, 2018
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Founded in 1997, eHealth was a frontrunner in online shopping for health insurance; it was through eHealth technology that the first online sale of a policy took place. The company allows customers to compare details of coverage and prices for health insurance policies ranging from major medical to supplemental coverage.
In 2013 they joined several other similar online services in partnering with Healthcare.gov to enroll those applicants eligible for subsidies under the ACA in health care plans. The eHealth site allows insurance shoppers to look at and purchase plans both on and off of the healthcare exchange.
In addition to individual major medical coverage, eHealth also brokers plans for short-term medical, travel insurance, dental and vision plans, Medicare, and even pet insurance. They also assist small businesses with group health plans. eHealth is licensed in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. They offer more than 10,000 plan options representing over 180 insurance companies, which means a lot of plans to choose from.
In addition to assisting people with buying health insurance, eHealth has funded and published multiple studies on health care costs and have also been active in pushing for affordable health care options.
eHealth is headquartered in Mountain View, California and operates under both the eHealth and eHealthInsurance names.
Products Sold Through eHealth
eHealth is a broker and does not actually write or administer any insurance policies. As a result, we are unable to provide any details on plan options or pricing in this review. Instead we will provide an overview of what types of plans are sold through the site.
Major Medical Health Insurance
eHealth offers a wide range of major medical health insurance plans, which will vary depending on the state in which you live. Among the big names with plans available through the site are Aetna, Cigna, Humana, Kaiser Permanente, and United HealthCare.
As of the time of this review, eHealth is able to assist customers with finding plans under the cost-sharing reduction subsidies (CSR) rules through the ACA. With changes taking place in the healthcare laws, however, it remains unclear whether or not these plans will be available in the future.
eHealth also assists with the setting up of a Health Savings Account (HSA) that can be paired with an HSA-compatible health insurance plan.
Other Health Insurance
In addition to the main plan that covers individuals and families for annual and emergency health care costs, eHealth can help with shopping for temporary health insurance plans. That includes short-term medical that provides coverage for gaps in major medical coverage. Short-term coverage is offered by companies like UnitedHealthOne, The IHC Group, and Tokio Marine.
They also assist with purchasing of travel medical insurance to provide coverage while traveling abroad. Travel and international health insurance coverage are offered in partnership with another website, Insuremytrip.com.
Small Business Group Plans
Among the providers available through eHealth are Anthem, Humana, and UnitedHealthCare to set up a group health insurance plan for small businesses. eHealth can assist companies with as little as one employee to provide health coverage.
They also offer group dental and group vision plans from some of the biggest names in the business, including large insurers like BlueCross BlueShield and focused vision insurance companies like VSP.
eHealth offers broker services for all types of Medicare insurance coverage. That includes Medicare Advantage, Medicare Supplement, and Part D prescription drug plans.
In recent years eHealth has been making major strides into the Medicare market most recently acquiring GoMediGap, an online platform tailored to those seeking Medicare Supplement Insurance.
eHealth has a long list of supplemental policies as well, allowing shoppers to compare rates as well as coverage options from multiple different companies. Among the choices available are:
- GAP Insurance
- Accident Insurance
- Critical Illness Insurance
- Medical Indemnity Insurance
- Discount cards for prescriptions and more
In addition to medical insurance, shoppers can price out and compare life insurance and even pet insurance on the eHealth website.
Again, eHealth acts as a broker and helps customers check out their options before buying.
eHealth is more than a search engine for insurance plans. The company offers their customers a variety of services.
As an unbiased broker, eHealth is not beholden to any one insurance company, and they do not make recommendations for one company above the other. They provide a customer service line where insurance shoppers can ask a variety of questions and get answers to help choose the correct plan. Agents will help explain coverage, deductibles, and copays and can guide shoppers towards the plan that will work for their budget and needs. All eHealth customer service representatives are licensed health insurance agents, but they do not work for any one company.
Agents are also available to provide assistance after the purchase of a policy, and they will interact with the insurance company on the customer’s behalf. This includes clearing up coverage issues, billing questions, and even assistance with claims. They offer a 24/7 customer service line for questions.
Since eHealth is a broker and not an insurance company, they do not set any of the rates that are available through their policy search. All of the rates are set by the individual companies and are the same rates that can be found on each company’s website (or through the health insurance exchange) directly.
There are no fees charged by eHealth for the use of their site, and no additional charges; customers can use the service without cost to find and compare health insurance plans.
Again, as they are not actually an insurance company, eHealth does not handle any claims. All claims are handled by the insurance company providing the coverage directly.
eHealth will, however, assist customers with questions and issues and they will, as mentioned above, interact with the insurance company on the customer’s behalf as needed after the plan is purchased through their site.
Ratings and Consumer Reviews
eHealth has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB), with a total of 18 complaints on file in the past three years. A number of reviews on the site report harassing phone calls made by agents of eHealth; the response from the company, however, indicates that these calls did not actually originate from the company but were fraudulent. The issue appears to have been addressed.
There are 14 reviews on the company’s Facebook page, with an overall 2.2-star rating. However, again several reviews mention the same issue with fraudulent phone calls, and several of the negative reviews are not actually related to the company’s services and can be set aside.
Overall, eHealth has a good reputation, and we did not find any red flags or issues of concern for this company.
The Bottom Line
If you are shopping for health insurance, whether it’s a new individual plan or supplemental coverage, eHealth is a good way to get a lot of comparison rates on plans from multiple companies quickly. They are the pioneer in the online health insurance sales market and have a solid reputation. If you’re not sure where to begin with the health insurance search, eHealth is a good starting point.
For a list of companies that we recommend, visit our Best Insurance Companies page.