Friday, November 24, 2017
News Roundup

PolitiFact Florida: Trump misses details about health insurance premium increases

RECOMMENDED READING


President-elect Donald Trump continued to bash the Affordable Care Act right up until Election Day, warning that Floridians are on the hook for big premium increases next year.

"It's just been announced that the residents of Florida are going to experience a massive, double-digit premium hike," he said at a Nov. 3 campaign rally in Jacksonville.

It's a favorite talking point for Trump, who vows to repeal the law, known as Obamacare, and replace it with an unspecified option.

But in this instance, Trump's talking point is missing a lot of context.

Trump is talking about a small portion of people who get health insurance in Florida, and he neglects that most of the plans with increases will get subsidies to offset the cost.

The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation, which oversees insurance company requests for changes in premiums, announced in September that premiums for individual health insurance plans sold in Florida in 2017 would go up an average of 19.1 percent.

That is for any individual plan that meets the ACA's minimum coverage requirements, whether it's sold on the federal exchange's HealthCare.gov or not.

The premium changes depend on the company: For plans sold on the exchange, Health First's increase is the lowest at 11.7 percent. Humana's premiums are going up at the highest rate, 36.8 percent.

Changes for compliant plans sold off the exchange range from a high of 27.3 percent for AvMed, to a decrease of 1.5 percent for premiums with Cigna.

The nationwide average for premium increases is about 25 percent, according to the U.S. Health and Human Services Department.

One thing Trump didn't mention is that customers who buy plans off the exchange won't necessarily be paying the full price of those increases.

About 1.53 million Floridians bought their coverage off the federal exchange in 2016. Out of those, 1.42 million — 93 percent — were subsidized in part by the federal government to make the plans more affordable. The average premium tax credit in Florida was $305.

About 1 percent of customers who buy a plan off the exchange earn too much income and do not qualify for any subsidies. They will have to pay the full increase.

Also, people have the option to choose a different, cheaper plan.

For 2017, Health and Human Services has estimated that 86 percent of Floridians who buy a plan off HealthCare.gov will be able to find a plan for $100 a month or less. Amid double-digit increases last year, average premiums after subsidies went from $82 to $84, the agency said.

Again, Trump is talking only about people who buy insurance on the exchanges. People who get insurance through work wouldn't necessarily see the same increase. Small group plans, for example, will see an average premium increase of 9.5 percent, for example.

In Jacksonville, Trump also said that "over 90 percent of the counties in Florida are losing Obamacare insurance next year." For 2017, every Florida county still has at least one Obamacare option on the exchange. Last year, Florida Blue and UnitedHealthcare were the only two insurance companies to offer policies in all 67 counties. UnitedHealthcare announced earlier this year it would leave the exchange in Florida and dozens of other states.

These are all important points Trump didn't mention, so we rate his statement Half True.

Read more rulings at PolitiFact.com/florida.

Comments

Safety Harbor family, under attack from its pit bull, stabs the dog to death

SAFETY HARBOR — A family had to stab one of its pit bulls to death Friday after it got loose and started to attack its owners, according to the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office.Now a 45-year-old mother and her 14-year-old and 22-year-old daughters ar...
Updated: 25 minutes ago
Take steps against holiday fraud with private WiFi, fraud alerts

Take steps against holiday fraud with private WiFi, fraud alerts

The holiday shopping season bring hosts of discounts and deals, but it also brings something less cheery — fraud. According to a forecast by ACI Worldwide, a payment processing company, retailers are expected to see a 30 percent jump in fraud this ye...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Updated: 1 hour ago
Florida’s iconic offshore Stiltsville survived another hurricane season

Florida’s iconic offshore Stiltsville survived another hurricane season

MIAMI — Stiltsville, a stubborn relic of Miami’s less-glitzy past as a sun-soaked outpost, has survived Hurricane Irma’s brutal winds and waves, much to the surprise of the landmark’s caretakers and fans. Perched at the edge of sea grass flats where ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Florida-Florida State: What’s really riding on Saturday’s game

Florida-Florida State: What’s really riding on Saturday’s game

GAINESVILLE — If misery loves company, at least the Gators and Seminoles have each other.That’s about the only positive in the least appealing Florida-Florida State showdown in decades. Both enter Ben Hill Griffin Stadium at 4-6 — the first time each...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Newly engaged couple among three killed in wrong-way crash on I-75

Newly engaged couple among three killed in wrong-way crash on I-75

GIBSONTON — Last month, LaShay Waiters got down on one knee and proposed to Yvette Alexandre in front of a room packed with family and friends. She said yes.About two weeks ago, it was Alexandre’s turn to surprise him: She was pregnant. It wasn’t pla...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Freshman quarterback leads Pitt to 24-14 upset over No. 2 Miami

Freshman quarterback leads Pitt to 24-14 upset over No. 2 Miami

PITTSBURGH — Miami’s perfect season is over. The Hurricanes can only hope their shot at a spot in the College Football Playoff isn’t gone too. Freshman quarterback Kenny Pickett ran for two touchdowns and threw for another as Pittsburgh stunned the s...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Hillsborough Democrats have everything going for them except history

Hillsborough Democrats have everything going for them except history

TAMPA — For 15 years, Republicans have held a majority of seats on the Hillsborough County Commission.It’s the longest stretch one party has controlled the board since a corruption scandal expanded the body to seven members in 1985.But all five Repub...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Cannon Fodder podcast: Eye on Julio Jones, new stadium

Cannon Fodder podcast: Eye on Julio Jones, new stadium

Times Bucs writer Greg Auman is back for one more Bucs-Falcons preview podcast, looking at Julio Jones’ rank among the all-time Bucs’ opponents, the new stadium in Atlanta, our story on game balls and much more. Listen below: ...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Fourth Street’s mom and pop motels are a dying breed

Fourth Street’s mom and pop motels are a dying breed

ST. PETERSBURG — Billboards as far north as Tennessee beckoned tourists by the thousands to St. Petersburg’s Fourth Street calling it "the longest motel street in the world" in the 1940s and ’50s. There were 95 motels between the Gandy Bridge and Cen...
Updated: 3 hours ago