If you are looking for health insurance, you’ve probably had someone recommend that you take a look at eHealth, one of the leading online health insurance marketplaces. But can you really trust the information that you find there, and will you be getting the best prices?
The short answer is yes. eHealth is a comprehensive, reliable, and unbiased online health insurance marketplace. It offers a completely free service and no mark-ups on insurance plans. While you may not want to make your final purchase through them, eHealth is a fantastic tool for narrowing down your options.
Read our full review to learn exactly what the service offers and why you should be using it.
What Is eHealth
eHealth is not a health insurance provider but a broker that allows customers to search and compare a variety of different health insurance plans from big-name companies.
Think of them as the Expedia of health insurance.
There are several online services for searching and comparing health insurance policies, but eHealth is one of the best and oldest. The California based company has been in business since 1997.
What makes eHealth stand out is that they partner with government health insurance exchange. This gives customers more options if looking for insurance under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). With eHealth, you can find health insurance that is both on and off the government exchange.
eHealth is licensed in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, and they offer more than 10,000 plan options from over 180 insurance companies, including big names like Aetna, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Humana, Cigna, and UnitedHealthcare.
As well as brokering policies, eHealth is a valuable source of information about the industry. They have funded and published several studies on health care costs, such as a recent Medicare Cost Satisfaction Survey, and they are currently researching Coronavirus with Medicare beneficiaries.
eHealth also has a 24-hour helpline manned by professional agents. Because these professional agents do not work for any of the insurance providers, they can offer unbiased advice about the plans on offer.
eHealth does not charge any fees for the use of their site, and the insurance plan rates offered match those given directly on the insurance provider’s website.
All of this means that eHealth is a great place to start when you are looking for a new health insurance plan.
When it comes to finalizing your policy and making any claims, your relationship is not with eHealth, but directly with the insurance provider. To make any claims, you will want to go directly to the insurer. However, eHealth’s agents are still available to answer questions and even speak to insurance providers on your behalf if required, though
- Thousands of plans in one place.
eHealth works with the biggest names in health insurance, which means that you can access their information without visiting all of their websites individually. That saves you time.
- It’s easy to compare plans.
You only need to enter basic information to start comparing plans. Because it is a one-stop-shop for all your health-related insurance needs, you can also do more complex comparisons. For example, you can easily compare a more expensive plan that includes critical illness insurance with a cheaper plan and a separate critical illness cover.
- Get unbiased advice.
eHealth has a customer service line that links you to qualified agents that can explain the details of individual policies. Because these agents do not work for any of the insurance companies, they can provide an unbiased opinion.
- eHealth doesn’t work with all insurance providers.
eHealth doesn’t work with all insurance providers, and they also won’t show you every option available from the insurance providers they do work with. Some plans offered by the providers that they represent require specialist information, so eHealth doesn’t sell these options through their platform. Some available discounts, such as military discounts, also aren’t offered through eHealth.
Types Of Insurance Offered
eHealth is primarily a broker for classic health insurance policies for individuals, families, and small businesses.
“Classic” health insurance helps cover the cost of routine doctors’ appointments and emergency care for accidents and illness. For a complete guide to health insurance read our review of the best health insurance companies and how to choose yours.
eHealth offers both private and public plans. They have one of the best search engines when it comes to Medicare, covering Medicare Advantage. Medicare Supplement, and Medicare Prescription Drug Plans (Part D).
On eHealth, you can also look for short term cover (which you may need when you are between jobs and not covered by your employer), travel insurance, and even pet insurance for your pet’s health and wellbeing.
In addition, eHealth provides access to a number of forms of supplemental insurance that cover health-related items not included in most standard health insurance policies. These include:
- Dental insurance
- Vision insurance
- GAP insurance
- Critical illness insurance
- Medical indemnity insurance
- Prescription discounts
eHealth also allows you to compare life insurance plans, which helps you continue to protect and care for loved ones after you are gone. To learn more about life insurance read “Best Life Insurance Companies 2020.”
How To Get A Quote
Getting health insurance quotes from eHealth costs nothing and is obligation-free.
Start by entering your zip code to filter results by insurance companies active in your area then provide four pieces of personal information:
- Date of birth
- If you or any of your family members have used tobacco products in the last 12 months
- If you or any of your family members are full-time college students
Based on this information, eHealth will return a number of plan options. The basic information supplied about the individual plans includes:
- Name of provider
- AM financial rating of the provider
- Plan type, e.g. HMO, Network, etc.
- Coinsurance rate
- Doctor visit rate
- Monthly premium
- Health Savings Account (HAS) options
- A link to doctors registered on the network
- Customers reviews
- A star rating
- A link to the plan’s full details
This is more than enough information for you to narrow down your search. You can then use the interface to compare up to four plans side-by-side.
This is also not the only search method available on eHealth. If you are looking for specific insurance plan features, you can also add these in as a filter. It is also possible to filter by your own doctor and only receive results from insurance companies that are accepted by your doctor.
You can then apply for insurance through eHealth. You need to set up an account as part of the application process, so next time you apply, all of your details will already be there. Be aware that some of the health insurance providers charge a non-refundable application fee.
Customer Service & Satisfaction
eHealth has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau, suggesting that the vast majority of customers of the site are extremely happy with the service provided. You can see the complete BBB review here.
eHealth is also well-respected within the industry. One indicator of this is that they have won the Kiplinger’s Best Insurance Site every year since 2006.
Is eHealth Medicare Legitimate?
Yes, the Medicare options offered on eHealth are legitimate. The insurance offered is not provided by eHealth but directly via Medicare. eHealth is simply a marketplace and broker.
How Does eHealth Make Money?
They receive a commission from health insurance providers for new health insurance plans generated through eHealth.
How Fast Can You Get Health Insurance?
While a new health insurance plan can be approved within as little as 48 hours, there is usually a waiting period. The period may take 48 hours for accidents and up to two weeks for illness.
eHealth is a comprehensive and easy-to-use marketplace for finding some of the best health insurance options. You can search through 10,000 plans from 180+ insurance providers and compare them side-by-side. Qualified and unbiased agents are available to help you, and you can apply for insurance without leaving the marketplace if you wish.
eHealth can’t show your everything. They don’t work with all health insurance providers, and they won’t show all the plans available from the providers that they do work with. But even if you want to do a more comprehensive search and apply to health insurance providers directly in order to get discounts, eHealth can be a great way to narrow down your search.