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Florida Insurers Requesting an Average 17.7% Rate Increase in Obamacare Plans for 2017

| May 31, 2016

obamacare health care insurance premiums 2017 florida

Enough to jolt the heart. (© FlaglerLive)

Insurers are seeking double-digit rate increases for 2017 health plans that will be sold to individual Floridians under the Affordable Care Act, a reflection of increasing medical costs and the end of a safety net for insurers.


Florida’s Office of Insurance Regulation, which received 15 companies’ rate requests this month, says that for policies in the individual market the proposed increases average 17.7 percent. Rate hike requests for small group policies were lower, an average of 9.6 percent.

Meanwhile, federal officials estimate the average rate hike request in Florida for the individual market at 13.3 percent. Federal and state estimates often vary because they use different assumptions in their calculations.

In any case, consumers won’t feel the pinch, according to a statement from Health and Human Services Press Secretary Jonathan Gold, posted by Florida Trend. “Proposed rates aren’t what consumers pay,” he said.

The health law set up an online “Marketplace” at HealthCare.gov, often called the “exchange.” Of Floridians who have bought policies there, 91 percent received upfront tax credits, or subsidies. Gold said those rise as the cost of coverage goes up.

After the tax credits were applied, the cost per month was $75 or less for more than three-fourths of Floridians who bought plans through the Marketplace for this year, Gold said.

If a premium goes up too much, the consumer can switch plans. Last year, 38 percent of returning Marketplace shoppers did that, Gold said. They saved an average of more than $400 for the year, he said.

Florida Office of Insurance Regulation Communications Director Amy Bogner said 11 of the 15 companies that filed rate requests plan to list their products on the federal Marketplace. OIR will review the requests and submit their decisions to federal health officials, who also have a say if requested increases are 10 percent or more. Federal officials release approved rates in early August; open enrollment is held later in the year.

While the requested increases for Florida vary from zero to 40 percent, they are more modest for the popular “silver” benchmark plans, which qualify for tax credits. All of the requested increases for silver plans are under 14 percent, and half are under 3 percent, according to a search of Florida plans for 2017 on a federal website.

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which President Barack Obama got through Congress in 2010, made it illegal for insurers to discriminate against applicants who had health risks. It created the online Marketplace to spur more competition among insurers for these individual policyholders.

Between 2013 and 2015, Florida’s uninsured rate for under-65 adults fell nine percentage points, from 24.7 percent to 15.3 percent, according to a study released last week.

But the state still has one of the highest rates of uninsured because the Legislature rejected another part of the law that would have covered more low-income people under Medicaid.

–Carol Gentry, Health News Florida

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21 Responses for “Florida Insurers Requesting an Average 17.7% Rate Increase in Obamacare Plans for 2017”

  1. Just me says:

    how is this possible?? 0bamacare was supposed to be less expensive to buy and save each and every family with INS $2500 a YEAR. just like when it was said if you like your doctor and or plan one could keep them. Hope n change NOPE fundamental transformation YEs but not for the better

  2. Mark says:

    Lies, all lies. Vote for sleazy hillary, she will fix it.

  3. Dave says:

    And before long Obamacare will cost more than normal heath insurance. And in some areas it already does.

  4. Bc. says:

    Let’s hope the republicans get in this November. Maybe they can fix this mess Obama created. He ruined the best health care in the world.

  5. r&r says:

    Just like everything coming out of Obama’s mouth another one of his lies. He knows it and enjoys screwing the stupd voters that gave him all the availability to due so. If I were in the medical business I won’t have anything to do things involing Obama screw me care.

  6. Dave says:

    Obama always said he would bring CHANGE.

  7. tulip says:

    The public has been terribly duped and taken advantage of by Obama administration. It is going to hurt millions of people even more in their wallets while benefitting insurance companies and the like.

    Keep in mind that if Hillary gets elected, she has vowed to maintain Obamacare and his legacy. So if you really want that for your country then vote for her. Think very carefully about the choices.

  8. A.S.F. says:

    I think there should be an investigation, an actual FEDERAL investigation and hearing, that forces representatives from each major insurance company that asks to raise their rates too much or too many times to reveal the FACTUAL statistics that would back up their claim that such exorbitant rate hikes are necessary. My suspicion is, they are pushing through these increases simply because they believe they can and that no one will challenge them. There are laws in place now in most states that require insurers to return money that is not spent on actual healthcare (not inflated overhead costs) to consumers. But they don’t pay out unless and until the states involved challenge them with threats of being taken to court, usually through the state Health Commissioner’s office. Major insurers, even non-profits, have a shady history of operating like renegade for-profits unless a governmental agency stays right on top of them.

  9. Pat says:

    Obama care is a farce- Plans with 5,000 deductible are not really a plan- might as well pay the $95 penalty if the first 5000 is not paid for.

  10. Geezer says:

    Blame the profiteering insurance companie$, the gluttonous drug companie$,
    the doctors with their Mercedes-Benz and Bentley lifestyles first.
    Ya gotta pay for those platinum Rolex’s too….burp.

    Then you can go to town on Obamacare.

  11. Nancy N. says:

    Pat, if you are seeing $5000 deductibles you are most likely looking at the Bronze level plans on the exchange. You should be looking at the Silver level plans, which have better benefits and are eligible to receive the government subsidies to lower payments and make them very affordable.

    The problem with this entire issue, quite frankly, is that a large portion of Americans live in this fantasy bubble where they think “I’m healthy, I don’t need health insurance.” That’s a dangerous attitude to take. Just because you are healthy today does NOT in any way guarantee that you can say the same tomorrow. Cancer, a devastating injury, a wide variety of health issues can strike out of the blue even in so-called “perfectly healthy” young people. That’s the entire point of insurance. You buy it so you will have it when that day comes. And then hope that day never comes. But if that day does come, that investment means the difference between security and disaster…and maybe even life and death.

    Think a so-called “catastrophic” policy with a $5000 deductible is useless? One major medical issue will chew through that easily, and suddenly you’ll be glad you’re only on the hook for $5,000. My daughter gets IV meds at the hospital EVERY MONTH that cost over $10,000 per treatment for her arthritis and other auto-immune conditions. My surgical biopsy for suspected ovarian cancer last fall ran up (if I remember correctly) about $30k in bills before the entire thing was done and I had a clean bill of health. When medical bills are counted in the tens of thousands, a $5,000 deductible isn’t an easy burden to carry but it’s far better than the alternative of being uninsured.

    The ACA law (which so many of you here refer to derisively as “Obamacare”) has been a miracle for our family. My husband and I absolutely would not have had health care of any kind the past few years without it. During that time both of us have dealt with extremely serious medical problems. I honestly don’t know what would have done without our Healthcare.gov purchased insurance plan and the subsidy that helps to pay for it.

  12. dutchman says:

    Complaints about Obama Care, have the Republicans offered a better plan……??
    If so , I must have missed the announcement………

  13. Donald Trump's Tiny Fingers says:

    If only there were some sort of expansion the federal government offered, say, like Medicare or something, that was available in Florida.

  14. Sherry says:

    Geezer is right on, as usual! It is extremely important to remember that it was the Republicans who FORCED the ACA through PRIVATE insurance carriers. President Obama wanted a “single payer” system for everyone. . . similar to Medicare. But NO. . . the Republicans put a stop to that! Now, those private insurance carriers are simply “maximizing their profits”. . . isn’t that the “capitalists” way?

    On top of that. . . watch what happens in Florida. . . since our horrific governor took all the power to regulate insurance premium rates away from the Florida Insurance Commissioner. . . . the insurance companies will jack up their rates at will! Guess who gets to pay through the nose by the Republicans obsession with “privatizing everything”! Where is the much better and cheaper “Republican” health care plan to cover every citizen???

  15. KB63 says:

    Has anyone else come across this? My sister & my husband both have went to the doctor every 3 months for medical issues for years. Each time getting blood work & exams. Not anymore! Florida Health Care has decided that it isn’t necessary any longer, they’ll just keep you on the prescriptions without regulating the conditions that you’re on the prescriptions for. The heart doctor was appalled that there hadn’t been any blood work in 7 months. And my husband’s insurance just went up 18%! Apparently they need to cut back on the care a person receives in order to keep their profits. It’s mind boggling what the insurance companies are getting away with – and they continue to raise rates? This is a terrible, terrible joke.

  16. A.S.F. says:

    @Donald Trump’s tiny fingers–Funny you should mention that. That is what Hillary Clinton has publicly proposed.

  17. A.S.F. says:

    Sherry–One state has actually asked for a 60% increase. It’s in the negotiation, I guess. Maybe they think they will get 20% in that particular state if they initially ask for 60%. By the way, some people are going to have to get used to not seeing a Doctor every three months when it is not called for. People are going to have to get used to nurse managers and physician assistants doing what doctors do now as well as “triage” urgent care centers taking on some of the load that ER’s have been shouldering. People will grumble but it’s inevitable.

  18. Geezer says:

    Sherry:

    Deregulating the insurance companies was analogous to opening all the chicken
    coops to the coyotes, after the Coyote Canine Alliance pledged to not eat any chickens.

    A lot of chicken funerals were resultant of that measure. But oddly enough, chicken funerals
    continue to be regulated, with a requirement of a shoe-box coffin buried 6 inches under in
    state approved chicken cemeteries. The decedent chicken requires de-feathering.

    The coyotes dress as dogs to get around these so-called pledges, and eat the chickens–
    much like insurance companies who pose as caring entities who’d rather see you drop dead
    than pay your doctors and pharmacies. In that case it’s wolves in sheep’s clothing..

    Dead chickens? Obama killed ’em…… No more Tucker automobiles? Obama again.
    No more Black Cow chocolate drink? You guessed: Obama.
    Or maybe it’s the Mexicans.
    —————————–
    I can’t cry anymore
    While you run around
    Break away
    Just when it
    Seems so clear
    That it’s
    Over now
    Drink your big black cow
    And get out of here
    –Black Cow, Steely Dan

  19. Sherry says:

    Exactly A.S. F.. . . certainly in “some” cases the “cycle” of doctor’s visits every 3 months for renewal of prescriptions for things like high blood pressure is not really medically necessary. That’s just physicians in the USA feeding their pockets. That needs to change.

    Regarding the comment by DTTF. . . I’m assuming that’s a sarcastic jab at horrific Rick Scott for not extending Medicaid in Florida. Money over people. . . the new reality. . . Horrible!

  20. karma says:

    Maybe some of you Wikipedia scholars should look into medical school. Then YOU can help with the doctor shortage for the “less privileged”. What ever the hell that means.

  21. Sherry says:

    How very unfortunate for all of us that insurance company premiums and many other regulations are controlled at the state level. President Obama’s big flaw was trusting that most Congressional representatives and and state legislators would act in the best interest of ALL citizens. However that is simply not the case!

    Follow the money and you’ll find the “real” power brokers who make eveery decision that affects all our lives.

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