State officials say that the premiums for Affordable Care Act plans will increase by an average of 19% in the state of Florida in the next year. Federal officials, highlighting the continuing political debate over the final impact of the healthcare act, countered that taxpayer funded subsidies, that most of the residents of Florida with ACA plans get to help buy insurance coverage, will protect them against such big increases in rates.
Commenting on that, HHS said that about ninety percent of the total 1.53 million Floridians, who are covered through the ACA, get some subsidy to help them get covered. “Consumers in Florida will continue to have affordable Health Insurance Marketplace options next year,” said HHS press secretary, Jonathan Gold.
“Among Marketplace consumers, most will be able to select a plan for less than $75 per month. Headline rate changes do not reflect what these consumers actually pay because tax credits reduce the cost of coverage below the sticker price and shopping helps consumers find the best deal,” Gold added.
The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation released its approved average change in rates for the insurance firms that are offering health care plans, which comply with the Affordable Care Act coverage rules. The comparison included the plans that are purchased via ACA Exchange, where subsidies to help buy coverage are available on the basis of income and off-exchange plans. The average across the state was 19.1 percent.
For the insurance firms that offer plans on ACA exchanges, the average percentage of increase ranged from 11.7% for Health First to 36.8% for Humana. The largest insurer of the state, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida or Florida Blue, had an average of nineteen percent approved increase across the state.
The state insurance office has not released the average rate increase projections for Marion, Alachua, or any of the specific counties. However, some of the numbers did not offer a look at what to expect for the two types of households based on income and size of family and the level of coverage that is bought by the family.