Affordable Care Act

How much does Obamacare cost in 2018?

Published on June 20, 2018


2018 data from eHealth shows the average cost of an individual (Obamacare) health insurance plan have increased 123% since 2013. During that same period of time, average monthly  premiums for families increased 174%.
The latest pricing data from eHealth looks at the cost of individual and family health insurance plans bought by people shopping for Obamacare health plans at during the 2018 open enrollment period, as well as reports published from eHealth that look back at individual and family health market prices and deductibles starting in 2008.

Eleven Years of Health Insurance Costs

Average Costs from 2008 through 2018’s Open Enrollment Period1

Individual Plan Premiums
Individual Plan Deductibles
Family Plan Premiums
Family Plan Deductibles
2018 $440 $4,533 $1,168 $5,861
2017 $393 $4,328 $1,021 $8,352
2016 $321 $4,385 $833 $7,983
2015 $286 $4,120 $727 $7,760
2014 $271 $4,164 $667 $7,771
2013 $197 $3,319 $426 $4,230
2012 $190 $3,079 $412 $4,079
2011 $183 $2,935 $414 $3,879
2010 $167 $2,632 $392 $3,531
2009 $161 $2,326 $383 $3,128
2008 $159 $2,084 $369 $2,760


  • Average individual health insurance plan premiums increased 123% between 2008 and 2018
  • Average family health insurance plan premiums increased 174% between 2008 and 2018

The 2018 data is the most recent report published by eHealth as part of it’s “Health Insurance Price Index” series of reports, that have served as the industry’s measuring stick of costs and benefit trends in the self-purchased health insurance market since the Affordable Care Act was fully enacted in 2014. Between 2013 and 2005, eHealth published an yearly “Cost & Benefits” report, that tracked cost and benefit trends in the self-purchased health insurance market.
The previous reports are available online:

Individual Coverage highlights 

  • 2018 Average Individual Premium: $440 for an individual not receiving subsidies
  • 2013 Average Individual Premium: $197 (Major Obamacare provisions became effective in 2014
  • Between 2013 and  2018, average individual premiums increased 123%

Family coverage highlights

  • 2018 Average Family Premium: $1,168 for a family not receiving subsidies
  • 2013 AverageFamily Premium: $426 (Major Obamacare provisions became effective in 2014)
  • Between 2013 and  2018, average family premiums increased 174%

Historical Data on health insurance prices 

Data on premiums for 2014 through 2018 reflect monthly premiums for plans selected by eHealth customers that did  not receive advanced premium tax credits (APTCs or Obamacare subsidies). Obamacare subsidies were not available before 2014.
The health insurance plans available through eHealth or selected by eHealth customers differ from year to year. The health insurance plans available prior to 2014  provided a larger variety of benefits and coverage.
For example, many plans sold prior to 2014 did not cover pre-existing medical conditions or maternity care. The Affordable Care Act mandated a comprehensive list of 10 essential benefits, that became mandatory for all major medical health insurance plans in 2014.
Some of these costs increases are a direct result of changes to benefits mandated by the ACA, which are contemplated here in this  2013 eHealth report.
A complete report on the changes in prices year-over year that provides additional insight into shopping trends was published by eHealth on December 20, 2017 and is available at the company’s media center.


About eHealth’s Price Index

eHealth is one of the few organizations with national source health insurance data that broadly reflects consumer buying patterns and purchase prices in the self-purchased individual and family health insurance market. eHealth’s Price Index reports provide insights into the large segment of the individual and family health insurance market which may not qualify for or elect to use government subsidies, and which may shop for coverage through sources other than government-run exchanges.
eHealth’s Price Index 2018 figures are based on thousands of health insurance applications submitted by eHealth shoppers during the 2018 open enrollment period (November 1 and December 15, 2017). These figures do not include data from individual or family health insurance shoppers who have applied for government subsidies or selected subsidy-eligible plans through their state government’s health insurance exchange with the assistance of licensed agents from eHealth. Information from prior years was previously published in other eHealth reports using the methodologies indicated in those reports.
Data presented in eHealth’s report is based solely on rates quoted for health insurance applications selected by consumers through the company’s website in the specified time period. Figures have been rounded to the nearest full dollar or nearest full percentage point. The information provided here does not offer a comprehensive view of costs for all plans available through eHealth, through the market as a whole, or through government exchanges. Certain data may have been excluded. For example, applications missing key data fields relevant for analysis may have been removed from the sample.
12015 and 2014 figures were previously published in eHealth’s March 2015 Health Insurance Price Index Report for the 2015 Open Enrollment Period.
2008-2013 figures were previously published in eHealth’s Cost and Benefits of Individual and Family Health Insurance Plans report from December 2013.

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