Advertisement
  1. Health

Insurers file to sell 2015 marketplace health plans in Florida, rates still not known

Published Jun. 28, 2014

Floridians who buy their health insurance on the Affordable Care Act marketplace will have new companies to choose from next year, but how much they'll pay is still unclear.

About a dozen health insurers filed documents by Friday's federal deadline indicating they intend to sell marketplace plans in Florida next year. The list includes returning big players like Florida Blue, Aetna, Cigna and Humana, as well as United Healthcare, which did not participate in the marketplace this year. Each insurer can sell multiple types of plans, and rates can vary across the state.

But though information about rates in other states is already available, it could be at least a month before Floridians learn more about the costs. Nearly all the insurers failed to indicate whether they're seeking a rate hike or decrease on the forms posted on the website of the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation.

After reviewing the filings, the state agency will publish the rate requests around the end of July, said spokeswoman Amy Bogner.

Two insurers indicated their intentions. Humana proposed an average 14.1 percent increase in two separate filings for its various HMOs, the documents show. Humana's PPO plans, included in a third filing, come with an average rate increase of 2.2 percent.

Molina Healthcare is proposing an average decrease of 11.6 percent. Greg Mellow, policy director with consumer group Florida CHAIN, said Molina had based its 2014 rates on medical claims in its Medicaid business. Mellow said he suspects claims for the private policyholders have been much lower than anticipated.

State officials will review insurers' documents only for accuracy. Florida's Republican-led Legislature in 2013 suspended the office's authority over rate regulation for two years, saying federal officials could do it because they were operating the online insurance exchange — another job the state refused.

Florida is the only state that gave up its power to force insurers to make rigorous cases for rate hikes, former U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius said earlier this year.

Nearly a million Floridians signed up for 2014 health care plans sold through the marketplace, the most of any state that used the federal exchange rather than create one of its own.

Other insurers that have filed notices to sell plans include Coventry Health Care of Florida; Preferred Medical Plan; Sunshine State Health Plans; Health First Health Plans; Health First Insurance Inc.; Time Insurance Inc.; and Health Options, which is a Florida Blue-affiliated company.

Proposed rates around the nation have begun trickling out in recent weeks. A Wall Street Journal analysis of 10 states found that larger insurers were hiking their prices — between 8.5 and 22 percent — while smaller insurers were cutting theirs.

Open enrollment to buy 2015 plans is scheduled to begin Nov. 15 and run through Jan. 15. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced this week a plan to give consumers an auto-enroll option if they want to stay in their 2014 plans next year.

Jodie Tillman can be reached at jtillman@tampabay.com.

ALSO IN THIS SECTION

  1. Taylor Bland-Ball, 22, posted this photo and open letter to Judge Thomas Palermo to her Instagram account on September 10, the day after she lost custody of her 4-year-old son Noah McAdams. The boy's parents wanted to treat his leukemia with natural health care remedies instead of chemotherapy. [Instagram] ANASTASIA DAWSON  |  Instagram
    The couple refused chemotherapy for their son, instead seeking alternative treatments including dietary plans, alkaline water and THC and CBD oil treatments
  2. Sharon Hayes, the new chief executive officer at Bayfront Health St. Petersburg, says she will draw on her roots in nursing as she engineers a turnaround for the hospital. SCOTT KEELER  |   Times
    The city’s largest hospital has suffered setbacks under a corporate owner, but a new leader says it’s time for an infusion of “love and attention.”
  3. An architect's rendering shows part of a planned research center and hospital on N McKinley Drive in Tampa for the Moffitt Cancer Center. During the 2020 legislative session in Tallahassee, the center will seek an increased share of Florida's cigarette tax to finance the McKinley Drive project and other improvements. Moffitt officials said Thursday that the increase initially would finance $205 million, to be paired with $332 million they have already allocated for the project. Moffitt Cancer Center
    Florida lawmakers are the key to unlocking the money, which would pay for more hospital beds and research space.
  4. Ashlynn NesSmith, 16, with her mother, Erin NesSmith, at Thursday's news conference in Tampa about the dangers of vaping. MARLENE SOKOL  |  Tampa Bay Times
    The legislation discussed in Tampa is ‘aimed at saving lives and addressing the current vaping health crisis.’
  5. FILE - In this Feb. 20, 2014 file photo, a liquid nicotine solution is poured into a vaping device at a store in New York. In September 2019, U.S. health officials are investigating what might be causing hundreds of serious breathing illnesses in people who use e-cigarettes and other vaping devices. They have identified about 450 possible cases in 33 states, including six deaths. FRANK FRANKLIN II  |  AP
    U.S. health officials have identified about 450 possible cases in 33 states, including six deaths.
  6. The owners of Centurion Compounding of Wesley Chapel have pleaded guilty in federal court to conspiring to commit health care fraud with the owners of the now-closed Lifecare Pharmacy in St. Petersburg (shown here) and Dr. Anthony Baldizzi of Tierra Verde. Google street view
    Centurion Compounding owners Frank Monte and Kimberly Anderson used profits from the conspiracy to buy real estate and high-end sports cars.
  7. A rendering of the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine and Heart Health Institute, which is expected to open in January. School officials said Tuesday the project will cost an additional $16 million. [Courtesy of Strategic Property Partners]
    School trustees asked for a breakdown of expenses before approving the increase.
  8. Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister speaks Tuesday at a kickoff in Tampa for a campaign to encourage first responders to seek help if contemplating suicide. Charlie Frago
    Tampa advertising firm ChappellRoberts will partner with the Crisis Center of Tampa Bay to encourage police officers, deputies and firefighters to seek anonymous help if they need it.
  9. FILE - In this Monday, Oct. 29, 2018 file photo, kids eat lunch at an elementary school in Paducah, Ky. It is far easier to avoid gaining weight than to lose it, so getting kids to eat well and exercise is crucial. But how to do that effectively is extremely difficult _ and sensitive. ELLEN O'NAN  |  AP
    Obesity is a growing public health issue that nobody is sure how to fix, and around one in five children in the U.S. is considered obese, up from one in seven in 2000.
  10. In April, deputies searched for 3-year-old Noah McAdams, center, who went missing after father Joshua McAdams, 28, left, and mother Taylor Bland-Ball, 22, right, decided to leave the state instead of taking him to his court ordered-cancer treatment. The family was found in Kentucky and now the boy is in the custody of his grandparents, undergoing chemotherapy. The parents recently convinced a judge to let them see their son more often, but the legal fight over how to treat his leukemia continues. [HCSO / Facebook]
    The court found clear and convincing evidence of neglect with the parents who fled the state to keep him from chemotherapy treatments.
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement