In the beginning
In the mid-1980's a young man named Vip Patel got deathly ill from food poisoning. As a recent graduate of Stanford University, Patel was still looking for work and did not have health insurance. With little income or savings, Patel was afraid to go to the hospital because he couldn't afford to pay any medical bills.
He vividly recalls lying in bed at home, wondering to himself if he was going to die. And, wondering how or what a person in his situation -sick and without health insurance - could do to receive care.
There was no internet at the time, and the phone book led him to health insurance companies that were geared toward selling insurance to groups of people, not individuals.That experience stayed with Patel. A decade later, the birth of the public internet led Patel to create eHealthInsurance.com. He wanted the company to serve as the online marketplace for individuals and families who did not have it. They could visit eHealthInsurance.com and find hundreds of health insurance plans from dozens of different insurance companies.
eHealthInsurance was founded in 1997 and in 1998, its technology was responsible for the nation's first Internet-based sale of a health insurance policy. eHealth, Inc, the parent company of eHealthInsurance.com went public in 2006 and is publically traded on Nasdaq under the ticker symbol EHTH.
Today, eHealthInsurance.com has enrolled over 5 million people in health insurance coverage and is the leading online marketplace for individually and family health insurance products in the nation. Licensed to market and sell health insurance in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, eHealthInsurance was responsible for the nation's first Internet-based sale of a health insurance policy, and we have partnerships with more than 180 health insurance companies, and offer more than 10,000 health insurance products online.
Every day we provide thousands of visitors with information about a broad array of health insurance-related topics and plans, including a selection of price and benefit options, complemented by a full-service Customer Care Center of highly trained customer service representatives.
In the future
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (health care reform) requires states to deploy online marketplaces for health insurance, or "health insurance exchanges," by the year 2014. Those that don't will opt-into a Federal exchange. Exchanges are meant to make health insurance more accessible to consumers by allowing them to receive quotes, compare plans and enroll in the plan of their choice.
eHealthInsurance has more than 13 years of experience running a successful private health insurance exchange. Our pioneering development of online health insurance comparison and enrollment platforms has helped over 5 million Americans to get insured. Now, eHealth's Technology and eHealth Government Systems groups are making us a leading provider of exchange and e-commerce technology platforms for health insurance carriers, brokers, agents and state and federal governments.