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Health Insurance Rates Could Spike For 600,000 Floridians

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Health insurance premiums for nearly 600,000 Floridians could go up more than 10 percent next year. The proposed rates became public today for consumers buying individual health plans.

Costs could increase as much as 60 percent in some cases for UnitedHealthcare, for example. Check here to see all the proposed rate increases of more than 10 percent.

Dena Mendelsohn, a health policy analyst at Conumers Union, the policy and advocacy arm of Consumer Reports, said this is the first year Florida officials can challenge the rates.

“There’s the potential that what is being proposed today will not be what the finalized rates are,” Mendelsohn said.

Companies planning increases include Aetna, Cigna, Coventry, Preferred Medical Plan and UnitedHealthcare. Notably, Florida Blue, the state’s largest insurer, is not increasing health rates more than 10 percent.

Insurers wrote in documents that the increased premiums are needed because of increased health care costs.

“Medical costs are going up and we are changing our rates to reflect this increase,” Aetna wrote to state regulators in documents. “We expect medical costs to go up 10 percent. Medical costs go up mainly for two reasons: providers raise their prices and members get more medical care.”

Only insurers wanting to increase premiums more than 10 percent became public. Other insurance companies may be planning smaller rate hikes for 2016.

Insurance companies are trying more contracts based on health quality, not quantity, to help lower costs.

WMFE is a partner with Health News Florida, a statewide collaborative reporting on health care.

Health reporting on WMFE is supported in part by AdventHealth.

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Abe Aboraya

About Abe Aboraya

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