Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Average individual health plans in Florida to rise about 35 percent, state says

State officials said this week that the costs of individual health plans will jump an average of 35 percent for Floridians who buy coverage on the new federally-run exchange under Obamacare.

But the federal government and consumer groups questioned the math behind that conclusion.

The state's comparison looks at the average monthly cost of each insurer's standard "silver" plan to be offered on the exchange versus the average monthly cost of a hypothetical plan ($293) offered today with similar benefits.

Under that scenario, monthly premiums would jump as much as 59 percent for Sunshine State Health Plans ($464) and as little as 8 percent for Humana Medical Plan ($315), according to the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation.

But these figures come with at least two significant caveats. First, the plans that will be offered on the exchange must offer better benefits than the ones many people have today. That makes it impossible to make direct comparisons to existing plans.

Secondly, the increase doesn't take into account the federal tax subsidies that are expected to help millions of Floridians — those with incomes up to four times the poverty level — purchase coverage.

A consumer advocacy group, Florida CHAIN, called it a "desperate, irresponsible, and meaningless 'comparison'."

"Although the form and rate review process is ongoing, we have released this information to help the public and our state policymakers understand the full extent of federal health care reform and its imminent impact on our state," Florida Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty said in a statement.

McCarty's statement notes that a number of changes are driving the increases, including the requirement that health coverage be offered to everyone, regardless of pre-existing medical conditions, and the limitation on how much a person's age can affect his health plan costs.

Eleven insurers will offer plans on Florida's exchange, which is scheduled to begin Oct. 1. Most Americans must have health insurance next year or face federal fines.

Americans who can't get affordable insurance through their employer may turn to the online exchanges – also called marketplaces – to shop for coverage.

In 2012, Floridians with individual coverage paid an average of $243 in monthly premiums. In a second comparison, state regulators note those costs would rise for customers of every insurer, on average around 39 percent. They include:

Aetna Life Insurance Company: $296

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida: $361

Cigna: $377

Coventry Health Care of Florida: $343

Florida Health Care Plan: $324

Health First Insurance Company: $360

Health Options Inc.: $350

Humana: $278

Molina Healthcare of Florida: $412

Preferred Medical Plan: $331

Sunshine State Health Plan: $362

For more details on the rates, consumers can go to

Jodie Tillman can be reached at [email protected].

Average individual health plans in Florida to rise about 35 percent, state says 08/01/13 [Last modified: Thursday, August 1, 2013 9:22pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Forecast: Sunny skies, drier air dominate throughout Tampa Bay region


    Drier air continues to filter into the Tampa Bay area on Tuesday, with clear skies and a slight chance of light rain during the afternoon.

    Tampa Bay's 7 day forecast. [WTSP]
  2. Florida education news: Makeup days, graduation honors, sex education and more


    MAKEUP DAYS: Hillsborough County schools will eliminate four early release days to meet minimum state time per course, after missing seven days because of Hurricane Irma. • Indian …

    School classrooms are back up and running after Hurricane Irma. Districts are now setting makeup schedules for time missed.
  3. Rick and Tom podcast: Bucs' Gerald McCoy frustrated with disrepectful fans


    Rick Stroud and Tom Jones discuss Gerald McCoy's latest comments on disrespectful fans who attack his teammates, Donald Trump, protests by Desean Jackson and Mike Evans, and his respect for the …

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive tackle Gerald McCoy (93) warms up before an NFL game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Minnesota Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minn., on Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017.
  4. Tampa heading into several tough budget years

    Local Government

    TAMPA — Less pain now, more pain later.

    The Tampa City Council will hold a final public hearing on the proposed 2018 city budget and property tax rate at 5 p.m. Thursday on the third floor of Old City Hall, 315 E Kennedy Blvd.
  5. The Daystarter: Rick vs. Rick 2.0 tonight; Bucs' McCoy says some fans cross line; Trump associate to testify; helicopter crashes onto Odessa roof


    Catching you up on overnight happenings, and what you need to know today.


    Rescuers respond to a crash of a small helicopter on the roof of a home in the Odessa area on Monday. [Hillsborough County Fire Rescue]