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Florida Blue To Increase Rates For Federally-Subsidized ACA Health Plans

Florida consumers who purchased federally-subsidized insurance plans through Florida Blue could see a rate increase next year. The state’s largest health insurer says fewer than expected young people and an influx of older, sicker residents is driving up costs.

Florida Blue is increasing the cost of health plans it sells on federal insurance exchanges by nearly 18 percent -- rate hike the company told Kaiser Health News, was “typical” for in the individual market.

The insurer had previously signaled it would raise rates, and blames the spike on not enough young, healthy people signing up for plans.

Florida is a state where the majority of the population is older, but the company says it wasn’t expecting so many older, sicker people to sign up. A quarter of enrollees were young people, while the national average of young enrollees was closer to 28 percent.

More than a third of the one million Floridians who signed up for federally-subsidized insurance plans did so with Florida Blue.

Two other Florida insurers have released their rates for the upcoming year. Humana is increasing prices an average of 14 percent for its HMO’s and two percent for its PPO plans. While Molina will increase rates 11.6 percent across the board. Florida insurance officials will release final rate requests next week.

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Lynn Hatter is a Florida A&M University graduate with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. Lynn has served as reporter/producer for WFSU since 2007 with education and health care issues as her key coverage areas.  She is an award-winning member of the Capital Press Corps and has participated in the NPR Kaiser Health News Reporting Partnership and NPR Education Initiative. 

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