premiums

A “bi-partisan fix” to the Affordable Care Act is set to get its first hearing in the U.S. Senate Wednesday.

Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) is sponsoring the bill, which would create a federal health reinsurance program.


After Republicans in the Senate spectacularly failed to deliver on their promise to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, a smaller group of lawmakers is trying a new approach: Bring in the Democrats and aim low.

Congress and the Trump administration could boost insurance coverage by a couple of million people and lower premiums by taking a few actions to stabilize the Affordable Care Act insurance markets, according to a new analysis by the consulting firm Oliver Wyman.

healthcare.gov

Six companies filed to sell health insurance in Florida next year on the Obamacare exchanges with an average rate increase of 17.8 percent, state officials said.

However, if the state approves the rate increase, it would likely be offset by an increase in federal subsidies. That means consumers wouldn’t have to pay much more for their premiums.

Over a five-year period, Florida’s Medicaid program overpaid private HMOs an estimated $26 million in monthly premiums for enrollees who had already died, according to a federal audit released Tuesday.

Cheap Health Insurance / Flickr

One prediction of the Affordable Care Act was that health care prices would drop when more people became insured. The idea was that providers would no longer shoulder the costs of caring for the uninsured.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN #1: I think most people hate to think of themselves as middle class.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN #2: You have what you need but maybe not everything you want.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: We have a car, but we live in an apartment. That's middle class.

The Commonwealth Fund

With open enrollment for health insurance getting underway in workplaces, odds are employees around Florida are seeing yet another increase in their premiums.

healthcare.gov

Premiums will go up sharply next year under President Barack Obama's health care law, and many consumers will be down to just one insurer, the administration confirmed Monday. That's sure to stoke another "Obamacare" controversy days before a presidential election.

Shela Bryan, 63, has been comparing prices for individual health insurance plans since May, and she can't believe what she has been seeing.

"They cost a thousand, $1,200 [a month], and they have a deductible of $6,000," she said. "I don't know how they think anyone can afford that."

Midway through sign-up season, more young adults are getting coverage through President Barack Obama's health care law. The number of new customers is also trending higher, officials said Tuesday in an upbeat report.

Florida is leading in sign-ups, with more than 1.5 million people who signed up or were re-enrolled. 

The information posted by health insurers on a state website indicating they would not seek a rate increase for 2015 in Florida's individual market was "incorrect" and has been taken down, the Office of Insurance Regulation said late Tuesday afternoon.

Unfortunately, the false information came to light only after Health News Florida published an article on Tuesday with the headline: "No Rate Increase? Can It Be?"

The answer, it turns out, is no.

As the Miami Herald and Kaiser Health News report, uninsured Floridians have different views on the Affordable Care Act but share a common concern: cost of coverage. One 28-year-old real estate agent, who says he doesn’t see the need for health insurance, says he’ll need to check in with his accountant to see if paying a penalty for not buying insurance makes financial sense.

Today, Oct. 15, is the first day of open enrollment for Medicare beneficiaries to choose their drug plan and HMO-style Medicare Advantage plan for 2014.  They can save money if they do some research, but if they don't, most will pay more this year. 

Researchers on Medicare enrollment predict that millions of beneficiaries will remain in their current plan rather than hassle with doing the research to see what has changed. And that would be a mistake, since so many plans are switching the drugs they cover or the premiums and co-pays they charge.

The sticker price for a benchmark health plan in Florida's online Marketplace will average $328 a month, far below the price that had been forecast, according to a federal report released early Wednesday.

“We are excited to see that rates in the Florida Marketplace are even lower than originally projected,” said Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius in a press release issued later.

Kaiser Health News

Contradicting Florida's Office of Insurance Regulation, a study from the RAND Corporation reports that the Affordable Care Act is unlikely to cause a hike in premiums for the individual market in this state or nationally.

Associated Press

Members of the all-Republican Florida Cabinet -- Gov. Rick Scott, Attorney General Pam Bondi, Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam and Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater -- have approved disclosure forms that insurance companies will need to send out to policyholders if their premiums will be affected by the federal Affordable Care Act, the Times/Herald Tallahassee Bureau reports.

Florida's average increase in health-insurance premiums under the Affordable Care Act for 2014 will be in the range of just 5 to 6 percent, Office of Insurance Regulation officials said Tuesday.

That is not out of line with past years, and the new law will require health policies to cover more than many do now.

A TV commercial running in Ohio and Florida, paid for by a group that spent $33 million trying to defeat President Obama's re-election in 2012,  tries to discredit the Affordable Care Act as it ramps up for full implementation between Oct. 1 and Jan. 1.

The ad shows a pregnant woman worrying that under the law patients will no longer be able to pick their own doctor and that costs will rise. "What am I getting for higher premiums and a smaller paycheck?" she frets.

Florida policyholders are expected to get about $54 million back from their health insurance companies over the summer, the Orlando Sentinel reports. Federal officials credit the refunds to the Affordable Care Act, which requires insurance companies to spend most of what they collect in premiums on patient care.