Friday, August 17, 2018
Business

Florida Blue pledges statewide commitment to Affordable Care Act

Despite the uncertain fate of the Affordable Care Act, Florida Blue plans to offer individual health insurance plans in all 67 counties next year, the insurer told the Tampa Bay Times on Wednesday.

"It is consistent with our mission to help people in communities achieve better health," said the company's West Florida Region market president David Pizzo. "We don't stay only in certain counties that are profitable."

The non-profit Florida Blue was the only insurance carrier to offer marketplace plans in every county in 2017, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. All told, the plans covered nearly 1 million people.

Florida Blue has yet to file its rates for 2018 with state insurance regulators; the deadline isn't until later this month. The company is assuming the federal government will continue funding the cost-sharing reduction subsidies that help lower out-of-pocket costs. Without the subsidies, Pizzo said, Florida Blue would likely have to increase its rates at least 20 percent.

About 1.8 million Floridians signed up for individual plans in 2017, according to the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. The options have dwindled as some large insurers have scaled back their offerings or left the marketplace entirely.

Florida Blue has found the marketplace to be "profitable within the guidelines that the government gives us," Pizzo said, adding that the company kept an edge by not undercutting its competitors.

"As a Florida-based company, we made the decision early to be in all counties," he said. "And we stayed in 100 percent."

Contact Kathleen McGrory at [email protected] or (727) 893-8330. Follow @kmcgrory.

Comments
Pinellas commission candidate faced stalking, abuse claims

Pinellas commission candidate faced stalking, abuse claims

ST. PETERSBURG — A political newcomer seeking a Pinellas County Commission seat has faced accusations of physical abuse and stalking from her former fiance, who twice sought court-ordered protection from her.Both allegations came after Democrat Amy K...
Updated: 20 minutes ago
Volkswagen scam: How will Florida spend its windfall from the diesel-gate settlement

Volkswagen scam: How will Florida spend its windfall from the diesel-gate settlement

The state has a challenge: How to spend a windfall from the Volkswagen diesel-gate scandal. The German manufacturer agreed to pay $2 billion to promote zero-emission vehicles and spend billions more to buy back or modify most of the cars. Nearly $3 b...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Wages remain stagnant in Florida despite super low unemployment. What’s going on?

Wages remain stagnant in Florida despite super low unemployment. What’s going on?

It remains our biggest economic enigma: Sluggish wage growth despite low unemployment. In a robust job market, pay rises as the supply of available workers shrinks. At least that’s the way it normally works. This time around, the ingredients appear ...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Children who lived with smokers are more likely to die of lung disease as adults, study says

Children who lived with smokers are more likely to die of lung disease as adults, study says

Childhood exposure to secondhand smoke is linked to lung disease decades later, according to a study published Thursday by the American Cancer Society.For 22 years, researchers have been following more than 70,000 adults who have never smoked. At the...
Updated: 2 hours ago
What would it take to overthrow king Publix? Safeway’s Florida exit begs the question.

What would it take to overthrow king Publix? Safeway’s Florida exit begs the question.

LARGO — Everything is on clearance inside Tampa Bay’s only Safeway grocery store. Patio furniture, 40 percent off. Beach chairs, too. Most grocery items are 30 percent off; the entire liquor store is 20 percent off.The discounts will probably get ste...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Florida unemployment falls to 3.7 percent

Florida unemployment falls to 3.7 percent

Florida’s unemployment rate inched down to 3.7 percent in July from June’s 3.8 percent. The state added 27,400 jobs in July, according to the latest state figures released Friday. Florida’s unemployment rate has held steadily at or below 3.9 percent ...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Trump asks SEC to look into ditching quarterly filings

Trump asks SEC to look into ditching quarterly filings

NEW YORK — President Donald Trump says he’s asking federal regulators to look into the effectiveness of the quarterly financial reports that publicly traded companies are required to file. In a tweet early Friday, Trump said that after speaking with ...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Dear Penny: How can I tell my boss to stop making fun of my old car?

Dear Penny: How can I tell my boss to stop making fun of my old car?

Dear Penny,I’m a recent college grad who’s been working an entry-level job for the past year. I only make about $33,000 a year, but I’m doing OK. I’m able to pay my bills without taking on more debt. One of the reasons I’m able to do so is that I dri...
Published: 08/17/18
SunPass users with overdraft fees can now request reimbursement

SunPass users with overdraft fees can now request reimbursement

If you’re a SunPass user and you’ve seen overdraft fees on your account, you can now ask for that money back.Florida Department Transportation spokesman Ed Seifert announced today that Florida’s Turnpike Enterprise has launched a system to process ov...
Published: 08/16/18

Nature’s Food Patch brings organic offerings to Dunedin

DUNEDIN — Nature’s Food Patch recently opened a new downtown location at 966 Douglas Ave. The new store will stock much of what is offered at the Clearwater location, including organic produce, grass-fed meat, a fresh juice/smoothie bar, organic and ...
Published: 08/16/18