Florida Insurance Commissioner: Individual Insurance Rates to Rise 30 to 40 Percent Next Year

Floridians could face substantial increases if they buy health insurance through the state’s new exchange under Obamacare next year.

According to a report from the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation issued last week, insurance premiums will increase 5 to 20 percent for small businesses and 30 to 40 percent for individual plans, on average.

Starting in 2014 under the Affordable Care Act, all Americans must have insurance coverage or face paying penalties of either $95 or 1 percent of adjusted gross income, whichever is higher. Individuals purchasing their own insurance will have options under a four-tier system from state exchanges with major insurance companies. Open enrollment begins on Oct. 1 with coverage taking effect Jan. 1.

Eleven health insurance carriers have entered the state’s exchange-based program for individual insurance in all 67 of Florida’s counties.  Carriers will offer at least basic benefits that cover everyone who applies, and can no longer deny applicants with pre-existing medical conditions. These changes are the thrust for the increase to premiums, according to Kevin McCarty, Florida Insurance Commissioner. There are also limits on how age affects premiums for older patients, a cap on deductibles and new comprehensive benefits plans.

Article written by Cohen Battisti, Attorneys at Law

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