Health Insurers Propose Florida Prices Hikes in 2015

By: Associated Press; Lanetra Bennett Email
By: Associated Press; Lanetra Bennett Email

By: Lanetra Bennett
August 5, 2014

Tallahassee, FL - Health insurance costs may be making a bigger dent in some Florida families' budgets. The majority of insurance companies are raising the price of health plans in the Sunshine State through the Affordable Care Act exchange.

"Not good. But, not unexpected." Says, Gadsden County resident Rebecca Kilts.

Kilts says she pay $36 a month for health insurance. Not bad, she says. But, she knows it could change. She says, "Health care costs keep rising at an astronomical rate."

Eight insurance companies are raising the price of health plans in Florida through the Affordable Care Act.

The average rate increase is 11 to 23 percent.

Health officials say premiums and subsidies vary widely by age, income, gender, and zip code. A family of four in a larger city might pay a $56 increase in out-of-pocket costs. Whereas, that same family in one of our smaller, panhandle areas could see a hike of $148. That's a difference of $94.

Gadsden County resident, Ralph Butler, says, "The price of groceries, medicine going up. I know it's tough. It's a day to day thing and I know it's a struggle out. It's a struggle. We're all trying to make it."

The state's largest insurer, Florida Blue, is raising premiums by an average of 18 percent.

Critics of the health overhaul say the increases are a sign the law isn't working.

Kilts says, "I think everybody should have the option of having health care. But, I don't think we should be forced into it. So, I just don't agree with the health care, the Obama Heath Care."

Fourteen companies plan to sell to Floridians through healthcare.gov.

"I'm certainly willing to pay for health care. But, not some outrageous amount." Says, Kilts.

Insurance companies say next year's rates partly reflect an older and sicker population than they'd anticipated.

There are three companies that have filed to lower their rates in Florida by five to 12 percent.


News Release: Associated Press
August 4, 2014

FORT LAUDERDALE — The majority of insurance companies are raising the price of health plans in Florida through the Affordable Care Act exchange.

State insurance officials said Monday that 14 companies filed plans, including three new insurers. Of the 11 returning plans, eight filed average rate increases ranging from 11 to 23 percent, and three filed rate decreases ranging from 5 to 12 percent.

Florida Blue, the largest insurer, is raising its premiums by an average of 17.6 percent. Humana proposed an average 14.1 percent increase for its HMOs, and Molina proposed an 11.6 percent average rate decrease.

Florida’s increases aren’t staggering, as health insurance rates have risen as much as 20 or 30 percent in recent years. Critics of the health overhaul warned of huge rate increases, a signal they say shows the law isn’t working.


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