A Medicare card superimposed over a dollar puzzle (Credit: Thinkstock)

Medicare plan sales were up at eHealth Inc. in the fourth quarter, and sales of ordinary individual and family major medical plans were down.

But overall commissions on the individual and family coverage eHealth did sell in the latest quarter were up sharply.

The Santa Clara, California-based web brokers shared details about sales Thursday, when it released its latest earnings.

(Related: Medicare Advantage Enrollment Is Booming: Anthem)

EHealth as a whole is reporting $89 million in net income for the fourth quarter on $302 million in revenue, up from $26 million in net income on $135 million in revenue for the fourth quarter of 2018.

Commission revenue increased to $282 million, from $122 million.

Here’s what happened to the number of submitted applications for some of the products eHealth sells between the fourth quarter of 2018 and the fourth quarter of 2019:

  • Medicare Advantage: 178,560 (down 97%)
  • Medicare supplement (Medigap): 22,392 (up 24%)
  • Medicare Part D prescription drug: 94,856 (up 76%)
  • Affordable Care Act public exchange plans: 5,776 (down 17%)
  • Off-exchange individual and family plans: 9,981 (down 18%)
  • Short-term health: 12,635 (down 53%)
  • Dental: 9,678 (down 34%)

The total number of people using eHealth to buy coverage or keep coverage in place increased 20%, to $1.1 million.

EHealth has been moving toward sales of Medicare plans, and away from sales of ordinary individual major medical coverage, because of all of the upheaval in the ordinary individual market.

But revenue per individual and family major medical member improved in the latest quarter.

For Medicare Advantage plan coverage, for example, the estimated lifetime value of commissions per approved member increased 2% for Medicare Advantage coverage users, to $1,052, and fell 6% for Medigap users, to $990.

For users of Affordable Care Act public exchange plans, the estimated lifetime value of commissions rose 35%, to $267.

For users of off-exchange plans, the estimated lifetime value jumped 51%, to $252.

— Read Commercial Health Insurance Gains at UnitedHealth, on ThinkAdvisor.

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