Healthcare Economy

eHealth Wins as Obamacare Technology Flop Persists

It is not uncommon that a loss of business at one provider is a win for other providers. If you have followed the list of continual sign-up issues since the start of the federal government shutdown, you know that tensions have become quite high over willing participants finding themselves simply unable to sign up or to even get quotes for health coverage under the Affordable Care Act. If they could sign up, they may have faced problems throughout the process.

One organization called eHealth Inc. (NASDAQ: EHTH) is the zero-sum-game winner here, as people have grown frustrated with and technical glitches have persisted. This stock has climbed over the past week, and it seems that Monday may be the peak frenzy, as shares are up even higher and even stronger. In fact, this appears to be an all-time high for eHealth.

Here is why eHealth shares are soaring:

eHealth, Inc. provides online private health insurance services for individuals, families, and small businesses in the United States. The company’s ecommerce platforms organize and present health insurance information in various formats that enable individuals, families, and small businesses to research, analyze, compare, and purchase various health insurance plans.

Its website claims to have insured more than 3 million consumers to date, with some 2 million quotes offered in just the past week alone.

A MarketWatch report shows that costs will skyrocket next year. It also shows how a Cigna Corp. (NYSE: CI) plan runs for $1,378 per month and a HealthNet Inc. (NYSE: HNT) plan runs for $1,962 per month.

If you want to know how having an approved exchange is helping eHealth, all you have to do is to look at the shares. Its stock is up 7.6% at $41.87, and the stock hit a new all-time high of $42.24 early Monday. Its market cap is still very small at $771 million, but it trades at close to 107 times the expected 2013 earnings and 71 times the expected 2014 earnings.

Also note that eHealth was a $33.00 stock on October 1, versus nearly $42.00 on Monday. This is a gain of 31% just in the first three weeks of October. We would like to remind readers that sometimes buying into winners is a costly experience. Is 31% of a higher share price in three weeks too high?

And note that Cigna and HealthNet shares have slid about 6% in the past few trading days.