MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., May 24, 2018 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Whether from summer break or graduation, a massive number college students are now searching for inexpensive health insurance amidst rising tuition costs and mounting student loan debt. Almost four million Americans are graduating from bachelor's, associate's, and graduate degree programs this year, and another 20 million attending colleges and universities are beginning their annual summer break between spring and fall semesters. Unless health coverage is provided through parents or school, continuing students must find a way to pay for health insurance alongside education costs that can run in the tens of thousands (estimated average tuition & fees: $34,699/private colleges, $9,528/public colleges). For graduates, the situation is not any better. While tuition is no longer an expense, loan payments commence. A survey of younger graduates found nearly one fifth of their salaries are spent on loan payments. Not surprisingly, an AgileHealthInsurance poll revealed that over 70% of college students and recent graduates found it hard to find affordable health insurance. The cumulative result of these conditions is a very high risk for current students and recent graduates to join the ranks of the uninsured.
"Uninsured students and graduates face significant and enduring education-related costs and, as a direct result, have very limited budgets for health insurance coverage," observed Bruce Telkamp, Founder and CEO of AgileHealthInsurance.com. "Our research in this area has consistently shown that unless they can find major medical insurance for under $100 per month, most will forgo health coverage and become uninsured. Students should comparison shop for lower cost major medical health plans before giving up on health coverage, a decision that can expose them to serious financial liabilities in the event of an accident or serious illness. The best, and in some cases, only major medical coverage available for these Americans at a price point they can afford is short-term health insurance. These plans can be an excellent choice for gaps in insurance coverage during summer or while a graduate waits for job-based benefits to begin."
AgileHealthInsurance communicates daily with thousands of health insurance consumers including college students and recent graduates. Affordability is the highest priority for these populations. Likewise, three months is also a common coverage request given the length of summer for students and the ability of employers to wait up to 90 days before extending health benefits to new graduates they hire. This ability of employers to delay health benefits to new employees often takes graduates by surprise and leaves them scrambling for an interim solution. In the case of one AgileHealthInsurance customer, short-term health insurance proved the optimal choice. The customer recently graduated and had a job offer that included health benefits but those benefits would not start for several months. In the mean time, he did not qualify for Obamacare premium subsidies and he did not have the advantage of health coverage from a parent. On AgileHealthInsurance, he was excited to find a short-term health insurance plan with a premium of only $49.98 per month and a deductible of $2,500. If he had chosen a plan on Healthcare.gov, the least expensive ACA Bronze plan in his area was about $200 more expensive per month and the deductible was nearly $4,000 more expensive.
AgileHealthInsurance.com was launched in 2015 to educate consumers on the availability of private market health insurance products that are alternatives to Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) plans. Today AgileHealthInsurance is the largest distributor of short-term health insurance, providing a fast, online process for purchasing these plans. Short-term health insurance is a flexible and low-cost major medical insurance for individuals without expensive pre-existing health conditions. It is not Obamacare. Short-term health plans offer consumers the flexibility to choose health plans with the benefits that matter most to them and combine these benefits with broad provider networks. Additional information about AgileHealthInsurance can be found at www.AgileHealthInsurance.com.
AgileHealthInsurance is a Silicon Valley-based technology company and an independently managed division of Health Insurance Innovations, Inc. (Nasdaq: HIIQ). AgileHealthInsurance and its executives hold licenses in all 50 states and D.C. to transact health insurance online. This press release contains "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements are statements other than historical fact, and may include statements relating to goals, plans and projections regarding new markets, products, services, growth strategies, anticipated trends in our business and anticipated changes and developments in the United States health insurance system and laws. Forward-looking statements are based on our current assumptions, expectations and beliefs are generally identifiable by use of words "may," "might," "will," "should," "expects," "plans," "anticipates," "believes," "estimates," "predicts," "potential" or "continue," or similar expressions and involve significant risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results, developments and business decisions to differ materially from those contemplated by these statements. These risks and uncertainties include, among other things, our ability to maintain relationships and develop new relationships with health insurance carriers and distributors, our ability to retain our members, the demand for our products, the amount of commissions paid to us or changes in health insurance plan pricing practices, our ability to integrate our acquisitions, competition, changes and developments in the United States health insurance system and laws, and our ability to adapt to them, the ability to maintain and enhance our name recognition, difficulties arising from acquisitions or other strategic transactions, and our ability to build the necessary infrastructure and processes to maintain effective controls over financial reporting. These and other risk factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied in our forward-looking statements are discussed in HIIQ's most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) as well as other documents that may be filed by HIIQ from time to time with the Securities and Exchange Commission, which are available at www.sec.gov. Any forward-looking statement made by us in this press release is based only on information currently available to us and speaks only as of the date on which it is made. You should not rely on any forward-looking statement as representing our views in the future. We undertake no obligation to publicly update any forward-looking statement, whether written or oral, that may be made from time to time, whether as a result of new information, future developments or otherwise.
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