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COVID-19 Cited As ACA Plan Rates To Increase 3.1%

Florida’s top insurance regulator on Friday announced approval of a statewide average 3.1 percent rate increase for health insurance plans sold through the federal insurance exchange next year, with most of the increase driven by the projected impact of COVID-19.

The 10 insurance companies that participate in the Affordable Care Act market initially submitted rate filings for individual plans. The average rate increase requested was  1.8 percent.

The filings did not initially include additional consideration for projected impacts of COVID-19 for the upcoming  year. Companies submitted separate projections for COVID-19, in the aggregate requesting a 2.8 percent increase due to claims stemming from the pandemic.

Insurance Commissioner David Altmaier ultimately approved a 2 percent COVID-19 impact, which is reflected in the overall 3.1 percent average increase for ACA-compliant individual plans. That means a person who earns $27,000 and lives in Broward County will pay an average of $187 a month for coverage in a “silver” plan after subsidies.

Monthly premiums for that same coverage would be $182 in nearby Miami-Dade County.

Nassau County in Northeast Florida has the highest monthly premiums, according to the state insurance office. After subsidies, monthly premiums for the average silver plans would total $264. Four health insurance carriers participate in the federal exchange in that county.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida offers policies in every county, the only carrier to do so. Celtic Insurance Company offers policies in 63 counties but does not offer health insurance to residents in Hendry, Martin, Monroe  and Taylor counties.

Enrollment in the federal health insurance exchange for 2021 coverage begins Nov. 1 and ends  Dec. 15