Premiums for 14 Affordable Care Act plans -- both eligible and ineligible for federal tax subsidies -- will increase an average of 19.1 percent in 2017, the state
But how many Obamacare consumers will actually pay 19.1 percent more next year is open to interpretation.
Within an hour of the state's news release came a rebuttal from the federal
Among consumers eligible for tax subsidies, 82 percent will be able to select a plan for less than
Similar releases from the state in recent years have sought to leave an impression of soaring Obamacare rates and steep out-of-pocket cost increases.
The state agency is headed by Insurance Commissioner
This year's release misstated the maximum average increase approved for plans eligible for tax subsidies as 65 percent. According to a chart accompanying the release, the maximum average increase approved by the agency is 36.8 percent for
At this stage, neither the state nor federal perspective is all that useful to consumers trying to figure out what they'll pay next year, said
"Because of the conflicting agendas between the
Cherry said looking at average premium increases "might not be the best way to judge" the overall market. "Customers will be buying specific plans, probably the lower cost ones. For example, insurers may be raising the cost of plans with broader provider networks in order to nudge members to narrow network plans with lower costs.
"Instead of looking at average premiums across all marketplace plans, a better indicator is the lowest-cost and second-lowest cost Silver plans." That's because the federal government bases subsidies approved for qualifying families and individuals on premiums charged for the second lowest-cost silver plans.
The analyst said insurers might push harder to sell the lowest-tier bronze plans in the coming year because they may have attracted all they can of the people eligible for subsidies "and may try to attract non-subsidy healthy customers" with their lowest cost plans.
Seven companies were approved to sell plans on the Obamacare marketplace, the state's chart shows. Three of those companies are owned by the parent company of Florida Blue and are all licensees of the national
Three of the companies, including Florida Blue, Celtic [parent of Ambetter], and Molina, have confirmed that they will offer insurance plans in
Humana, which made headlines in July when it said it was withdrawing from all but 156 U.S. counties, confirmed through a spokesman in August that it plans to sell in
In a review of Humana's rate filing, an actuary with the state
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