Health Insurers in Florida Request Premium Rate Hikes as High as 71%

Cost for unsubsidized family of four will total $17,000 in 2018

An Obamacare sign is seen on the UniVista Insurance company office
An Obamacare sign is seen on the UniVista Insurance company office / Getty Images
October 8, 2017

Obamacare plan premiums may increase an average of 45 percent in Florida next year due to health care insurers rate hike requests, according to Florida's Office of Insurance Regulation.

There are six insurers in Florida selling plans on and off the exchanges in 2018 including Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Celtic Insurance Company, Florida Health Care Plan, Health First Commercial Plans, Health Options, and Molina Healthcare of Florida.

Molina Healthcare requested the highest rate increase of 71.2 percent. Individuals with this coverage can expect their monthly premium to increase from $402 to $688.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield requested a 38.1 percent increase, Celtic Insurance Company requested a 46.1 percent increase, Florida Health Care Plan requested a 26.5 percent increase, Health First Commercial Plans requested a 39.3 percent increase, and Health Options requested a 36 percent increase.

On average, consumers in Florida can expect their monthly premium to increase from $463 to $671.

The Florida office notes declining insurer participation since 2015. In that year there were 21 participating insurers. In 2016 there were 19, in 2017 there were 14, and in 2018 there are 9, which includes the companies that participate off exchange. They also report there will be 42 counties in their state that will only have one health insurer participating on the exchange.

The report explains that the majority of the average rate increase of 44.7 percent is attributable to Obamacare's silver plans. Those who are eligible for Obamacare subsidies will likely not see premium increases. The office explains, however, that those without subsidies will still see a large increase.

"Consumers enrolled in a silver on-exchange plan that do not receive a premium subsidy will have the option of purchasing a similar off-exchange silver plan without this extra cost," the office said. "Plans other than the on-exchange silver plans will increase an average of 18 percent."

"In 2013, an unsubsidized plan comparable to an existing silver plan would cost a family of four an average of $7,200," the report states. "In 2018, the average unsubsidized cost for the same family totals $17,000."

One year ago, the Obama administration announced that premiums for 2017 would rise by double-digits. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, rate increases are a result of the increasing number of insurers experiencing losses on the exchanges.

"Nationwide, average Marketplace premiums for 2017 are increasing more than they have in the past two years," the Obama administration said. "For the median consumer, the benchmark second-lowest silver plan premium is increasing by 16 percent this year, before taking into account the effects of financial assistance."