Health Insurance Exchanges

The Florida Retail Federation has launched a private health insurance exchange for its members. The exchange allows businesses to shop for group coverage plans and lets employees sign up.

United Healthcare

One of the nation’s biggest health insurance companies is gearing up to offer health plans on Florida’s federally-run marketplace.

United Health Care officials said last year they were waiting to see how the Affordable Care Act would play out before deciding whether to offer plans on the federally-run exchange which Floridians use to sign up for plans. Now, United Spokeswoman Elizabeth Calzadilla-Fiallo says the company is preparing to offer its insurance products for purchase when open enrollment resumes next year.

Capital Health Plan

There’s more than one insurance company in North Florida, but you wouldn’t know it just by looking at the federal government’s health insurance exchange website.

Many Floridians are now finally able to log on to after weeks of delays due to problems with the site. They’re finding that in North Florida there are nearly 30 plans available, however, “they’re all, unfortunately, all versions of Blue Cross, Blue Shield, and that’s fairly alarming that there is no competition," says Donna Gillette.

LHatter / WFSU News

It was a small affair at Tallahassee’s St. Mary’s Primitive Baptist Church Tuesday night as about 40 people came out to hear a presentation on the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare.

Federal insurance exchanges are still a mess and many uninsured Floridians are turning to local groups to figure out how and where to purchase insurance—and whether they qualify. That’s created many opportunities for groups to step in and try to help people with their insurance questions – even if they’re not affiliated with the federal exchanges.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services says the cost for purchasing insurance on federal exchanges is coming in lower than expected.

Florida is one of more than 30 states where consumers can use the federal exchanges, but there are several caveats within HHS’ report.

State regulators say health plans sold on federal insurance exchanges could have premiums which cost up for 40 percent more than their existing counterparts. The estimates come after Florida forfeited its ability to set up a state-run exchange outlined in the Affordable Care Act. But just because insurance premiums are coming in higher doesn’t mean the people making those purchases through the exchanges will pay it.

About a dozen Florida health insurance companies have announced plans to sell policies on federal insurance exchanges, as dictated by the Affordable Care Act.

Starting October First, Floridians who don’t have insurance through their jobs will be able to shop for health plans through an online marketplace. Those plans will come with income-based tax credits to offset the costs. But according to Wences Troncoso with the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation, people shopping for insurance on the exchanges could be in for a bit of sticker shock:

Insurance exchanges coming in 2014 will allow individuals and small businesses to compare and shop for health plans. This will be done online, and it means people can bypass traditional insurance agents and go straight to the product.  And that has health insurance agents concerned, because they make money on commissions – and they wonder what their role will be.

Florida legislative leaders have sent letters to the federal government saying they can’t make a decision on health insurance exchanges right now. Lynn Hatter reports the state had until Friday to inform the feds of whether it would set up its own healthcare marketplace, or leave it up to the government. The Obama Administration now says the deadline has been pushed out to December.

Florida’s insurance website for small businesses is switching contractors. Florida Health Choices was supposed to be up and running last summer but that date has been pushed back to January. part of the delay is due to a clash with the former company that was supposed to be building the website.

The nation's governors — well, many of them, anyway — are gathering in Colonial Williamsburg, Va., for their annual summer meeting this weekend.

It's no easy trick for the National Governors Association to get Republican and Democratic chief executives on the same page, or even the same room.

This year, in the wake of the Supreme Court decision on the Affordable Care Act, it's even harder.