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FL insurance premiums will increase exponentially under Obamacare

By   /   August 1, 2013  /   News  /   10 Comments

AP photo

RATES ON THE RISE: The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation says premiums for individual insurance plans will increase 30 to 40 percent on average next year.

By William Patick | Florida Watchdog

TALLAHASSEE — Exactly how much health insurance will cost when Obamacare takes full effect next year is debatable.

But for millions of Floridians, one thing is certain — Insurance premiums will increase.

That much was confirmed Tuesday ,when Florida Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty told the state Health Insurance Advisory Board that small business insurance rates will rise anywhere from 5 percent to 20 percent; individual plans are expected to increase 30 percent to 40 percent, on average.

An individual plan already costing $293 per month, for instance, will cost nearly $400 per month beginning in January.

Reasons for the higher costs include:

· Universal or “guaranteed issue” coverage

· New mandatory benefits

· Despite varying risk factors, men and women will be charged the same

· Limits on how much age can affect health plan costs

· New taxes and fees

“Although the form and rate review process is ongoing, we have released this information to help the public and our state policymakers understand the full extent of federal health care reform and its imminent impact on our state,” McCarty said in a statement.

The Office of Insurance Regulation disclosed several documents Wednesday that show how state officials arrived at the cost increases.

Two methods were used: First, by creating a hypothetical Obamacare mid-level or “silver plan” — by adjusting a current Florida standard plan — and comparing it to existing plans offered by 11 different insurance providers.

The result was an average 35.2 percent premium increase. The rate of change was only 7.6 percent higher in one comparison, but as much as 58.8 percent more in another.

fl insurance rates

The other method used by state analysts involved comparing the new projected Obamacare premiums to current insurance premiums. That resulted in a 39.3 percent rate increase.

Federal subsidies will apply for some insurance buyers, but avoiding the rising costs by refusing to buy insurance would result in a tax penalty.

That penalty is known as the individual mandate. As of Jan. 1, 2014, Americans must buy health insurance or pay a penalty of $95 or 1 percent of adjusted gross income, whichever is higher. The Obama administration delayed the employer mandate until 2015.

The Office of Insurance Regulation says it will release data on small group premiums next, but the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services will have the final say on premium prices and insurance providers looking to compete on Florida’s health exchange.

Contact William Patrick at [email protected] or follow Florida Watchdog on Twitter at @watchdogfla Like Watchdog.org? Click HERE to get breaking news alerts in YOUR state!


William Patrick is Watchdog.org’s Florida reporter. His work has been featured by Fox News, the Drudge Report, and Townhall.com, as well as other national news and opinion websites. He’s also been cited and reposted by numerous state news organizations, including Florida Trend, Sunshine State News and the Miami Herald, and is a member of Investigative Reporters and Editors and the Florida Press Association. William’s work has impacted discussions on education, privacy, criminal justice reform, and government and corporate accountability. Prior to joining Watchdog, William worked for the James Madison Institute in Tallahassee, Fla. There, he launched a legislative news website covering state economic issues. After leaving New York City in 2010, William worked for the Florida Attorney General’s Office where he assisted state attorneys general in prosecuting Medicaid Fraud. William graduated magna cum laude from Hunter College, City University of New York. He lives in Tallahassee with his wife and three young children.

  • markm8128

    People in Florida have only themselves to blame. The GOP clowns in their state government, have been deliberately sabotaging the ACA, and the citizens of Florida will pay the price.

    Note…that states, like California and New York…that have been proactive in implementing their own health insurance exchanges…..are reaping spectacular savings in lower premiums. Whereas, almost all of the stories of dramatic cost increases, are coming from states, where the GOP wants the program to fail.

  • Jayne4Obama

    States that are accepting (their own money!!!!) Federal funds to expand Medicaid will see their insurance premiums go DOWN!!! Contact the GOP CLOWNS in Tallahassee and DEMAND they call a special session and accept the Federal money or your rates WILL go UP!!! No one to blame but the GOP!

  • jj smith

    NY & CA premiums have already fallen by more than 30%. Obama Care is saving people more money faster than predicted.
    Oh but we Foridiots and we don’t want better healthcare for less cost.

  • MM59

    I have NY individual plan and currently pay $1850/month for single coverage. Why so high compared to FL? Because NY already had per state law the features that Obamacare bring. No pre-existing conditions (if you maintain continuity of plans for 90 days), can’t drop you if you get sick and kids could stay on parents plans until 29!

    Since NY individual rates were so high many could not afford them. So they may go down as insurance companies anticipate with the individual mandate, more people have to buy (spread the risk).

    Yours are going up because you now have to have coverage, whether you want it or not, for many more services. HHS controls what has to be in your plan, not your state. So your plan needs to cover a “free” annual visit (guess what that it now added to your premium), and your plan has to cover mental services, etc.

    Nothing is for free. As my Mom always said, if it says you are getting something for free, run away, you can’t afford it.

  • MM59

    Go look at NY individual health care plan prices before you talk. See reply to jjsmith above.

    Your increased costs are coming from the act itself. You will now how to purchase a plan with many more things that you didn’t have before, whether you need them or not.

  • Fred

    Watchdog.org only watches the 1%’s pockets! Fact is, with the subsidies and the 9.5% cap on premiums, most Americans will pay less (a lot less) than current policies with a lot more protection.

  • Paul232

    Will increase “exponentially”? Anyone there take math?

  • Saboteurs!

  • We want our free shit!

  • betty maye

    you are full of crap! your stats are from dream land! we have liberals and people like you to blame! premiums in califorinia and ny are HIGHER after the insurance exchanges!!!!! where did you get your info???? this is simple obamacare is a joke and the taxpayer is going to pay for it. man am i sick of liberals and your LIES!