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New AHIP Survey Finds Individual Health Care Coverage Accessible and Affordable
Date:12/19/2007

ing and underwriting rules, differences in health care costs, demographics, and consumer benefit preferences. Premiums were significantly higher in states with restrictions on premium variation and underwriting, often known as "guaranteed issue" and "community rating." However, approximately 95 percent of the policies surveyed were sold in states where the average annual premium was under $3,400 for single coverage or $7,200 for family coverage.

Consumers in the individual market were offered a wide range of benefits, including mental or behavioral health, prescription drugs, preventive, and maternity benefits. Some level of behavioral health coverage was included in nine out of ten policies purchased. Coverage for complementary and alternative therapy was also quite popular, while vision and dental coverage were chosen much less frequently.

The most commonly purchased coverage option was preferred provider organization (PPO) / point-of-service (POS) coverage, representing 78 percent of single policies and 66 percent of family policies in force.

Health savings accounts (HSAs) continue to be a popular coverage option among consumers in the individual market. Ten percent of single policies and 23 percent of family policies chosen provided coverage in conjunction with an HSA. Notably, the average out-of-pocket maximum paid by consumers with an HSA policy often is not much higher than the average plan deductible, meaning many HSA plans consider the deductible to be the primary form of cost-sharing.

Most of the policies chosen had annual out-of-pocket limits under $5,000, and the average lifetime maximum benefit (among plans with a maximum) was nearly $4 million.

Click here to view the entire survey: http://www.ahipresearch.org/pdfs/Individual_Market_Survey_December_2007.pdf .

AHIP is the national trade association
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SOURCE America's Health Insurance Plans
Copyright©2007 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

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