State regulators say they have approved an average 19.1 percent increase for 2017. That's more than the 17.7 percent average hike requested by insurers.
Things changed since rates were initially filed in May, the state's
One factor:Some insurers hit the brakes on plans to participate in the Affordable Care Act marketplace, making waves in the "risk pool" for everybody else.
"The approved percentages varied by about 2 percentage points from the original May requests, with a few exceptions," the state regulatory agency's statement said.
Among the moving parts: Companies received official "risk adjustment numbers" -- information that affects how they view markets -- from the
The decision by some insurers to leave the Obamacare marketplace, or to participate in limited markets, shook up calculations.
"Aetna, who has a commitment to expand in 2018, has indicated that it will not participate in 2017," the OIR statement said. "United announced before the May filings that it would not participate on the exchange for 2017. United filed and withdrew an exchange filing under a subsidiary (Harken). Humana filed for participation in only a few areas of the state but did not disclose this information publicly."
These decisions "changed office and company estimates of the risk pool that companies expect to insure," the OIR statement said. "Some companies estimate that they will grow more because of the lack of participation in the exchange market by these insurers. All of these insurers continue to write either individual or group products off-exchange."
Aetna pulled out from exchange plans because losses were too high, officials said this past month. An executive's letter earlier warned of a possible marketplace pullback if regulators did not approve a proposed merger with Humana. The
UnitedHealthcare, the nation's largest health insurer, had previously signaled reservations about individual marketplace plans and concluded in April "we cannot broadly serve it on an effective and sustained basis," CEO
Others seem to be more at home.
This past year, about nine in 10 Floridians signing up through the federal marketplace received subsidies to make premiums cost less. More than 1.5 million
"Headline rate increases do not reflect what consumers actually pay," said
Obamacare opponents say the administration is downplaying problems with the marketplace and the costs taxpayers must cover.
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