An attendant draws a curtain inside the Great Hall of the People during a group session at the fifth session of the 12th National People's Congress (NPC) in Beijing, China on Wednesday, March 8, 2017. China's NPC will close on March 15. Photographer: Qilai Shen/Bloomberg (Photo: Qilai Shen/Bloomberg)

A health insurance web broker has a confession: Average prices for the individual and family major medical coverage it sold in 2019 increased just a little from the 2018 averages.

The web broker, eHealth Inc., has revealed the relatively stable nature of the U.S. major medical coverage its customers actually bought in a new report based on its own transaction data.

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EHealth says  the average, unsubsidized individual coverage monthly premium increased just 2% for the 2019 coverage year, to $448.

Average monthly premiums for mid-tier silver-level individual coverage fell to $481, from $498 in 2018, and average monthly premiums for bare-bones catastrophic individual coverage fell to $193, from $206.

For families, the average monthly unsubsidized premium fell 1%, to $1,154.

The monthly cost of unsubsidized silver-level coverage for a family fell to $1,179, from $1,257.

One challenge for eHealth price report users is knowing how the quality of the average coverage sold in 2019 compared with the quality of the coverage sold in 2018. In theory, a silver-level plan sold in Florida for 2019, for example, could have had a much bigger or smaller network than an otherwise similar-looking plan sold in Florida in 2018.

One possible indicator of plan quality is average annual deductible levels.

For individual coverage purchased through eHealth, the average annual deductible fell 6%, to $4,320.

For families, the average annual deductible fell 8%, to $8,071.

Resources

A copy of the full 2019 eHealth index report is available here.

— Read Only 5% of Our Off-Season Buyers Can Afford Major Medical: Web Broker, on ThinkAdvisor.

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