Florida regulators announce rate hikes for policies sold through exchange
The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation has announced that it has approved an increase in health insurance premiums for coverage sold through the state’s exchange. Florida’s insurance exchange in managed by the federal government, and consumers looking for policies can find them through HealthCare.gov, the federal exchange network. The rate increases in Florida are more modest than what is being reported in other states and consumers are expected to experience a small increase in premiums for coverage in 2016.
Premiums are set to rise by an average of 9.5% for 2016 coverage
According to the state agency, premiums will rise by an average of 9.5%. For some, however, insurance premiums are actually falling next year, when subsidies provided by the federal government are factored into the cost of policies. For others, premiums will be growing more than the 9.5% average, as their coverage is more expensive due to existing medical conditions and other factors. As per usual with announcements concerning rising insurance rates, the issue has become heavily politicized in Florida.
Federal officials believe modest increase in premiums is a victory for consumers
Federal officials call the modest rise in insurance premiums a victory for consumers. They suggest that regulators were able to mitigate any significant increase in rates. The National Republican Senatorial Committee, however, believes that the rate increases go against promises made to keep health insurance rates down. Some state officials believe that the Affordable Care Act has failed to live up to its namesake, primarily in making health insurance coverage affordable for consumers.
Florida is leading the way when it comes to enrollment in its insurance exchange
Despite the growing cost of insurance coverage, Florida is leading the way in terms of enrollment in its exchange. The state may continue be a leader when the next open enrollment period begins in November of this year. Many of the consumers that have enrolled for coverage through the state’s exchange also receive subsidies from the federal government. These subsidies have helped cut down on the costs of health insurance coverage.