In 2014, for individual health insurance plans Florida opted not to expand its Medicaid plan and elected to use the federal health insurance exchange, HealthCare.gov. Here’s a roundup of Florida’s marketplace registration amounts, insurance companies on HealthCare.gov, and a perspective towards 2018.
Florida registration in ACA-approved individual health insurance
A total of 984,000 Floridians selected individual health insurance plans through the federally facilitated exchange during open enrollment, which was held from Oct. 1, 2013, to March 31, 2014 – and through the specific registration period which ended April 19, 2014. Based on HHS data,
- 1.6 million Floridians were eligible for a market strategy
- 1,1 million were eligible for financial assistance
- 180,000 were eligible for Medicaid/CHIP
- A market plan was selected by 984,000 people
These numbers account for Floridians who selected health insurance through HealthCare.gov but don’t count those who bought private health insurance off of the exchange.
Medicaid and the ‘Coverage Gap’
Florida wasn’t among the 27 states that elected to expand Medicaid to individuals below 138 percent of the national poverty level in 2014. As a result, in Florida, the Medicaid adult income eligibility limitations as a percentage of the national poverty level are as follows:
|share of poverty||Yearly income limitation|
|Parents of dependent children (family of three)||35%||$6,809|
|Other adults (non-handicapped; for a person)||0%||$0|
An estimated 764,000 poor and uninsured aged adults in Florida fall into what’s known as the “coverage gap”. That’s over 1/4 of all uninsured people whose incomes are too high for Medicaid qualification but too low to qualify for exchange-based premium tax credits.
Across America, an estimated 5 million adults fall into the donut hole coverage gap, and 16% of them reside in Florida. Texas accounts for 22%, and Georgia was third with 9%.
Florida health insurance carriers – on and off the exchange
When looking at the health insurance suppliers in the private market and on the exchange, it may seem that Floridians can choose from many plans and insurance companies. But the truth is that more than half of the 67 counties in Florida have just one or two insurance companies selling insurance plans through the marketplace. Health insurance plans are not offered by in all counties from all 4 suppliers. In 21 rural counties, Florida Blue is the only choice.
On And Off Insurance Carriers in Florida (not offered in all counties)
- Florida Blue PPO – Blue Options (Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida)
- Florida Blue HMO- Blue Care
- Florida Blue EPO – Blue Select
- Florida Health Care Plans
- Molina Healthcare of Florida
Florida health insurance – 2018 updates
Insurance Companies – whether on or off the exchange – are subject to changes in 2018.
Up to now, several have filed paperwork to sell plans in Florida on the marketplace. This includes returning insurers Florida Blue, which has been there since the beginning.
2018 Rate Increases in Florida
Not all insurance companies have revealed their 2018 rates, but so far the increase in rates for ACA-approved plans is expected to exceed 20-30%.
For example, Florida Blue CEO Patrick Geraghty recently suggested his company’s double-digit rate increase is due to several factors including an inflow of older and sicker enrollees and a deficiency of youthful, healthy enrollees.
Humana, Cigna, Aetna all have decided to pull out of the Florida market.
Can Floridians Who Missed Open Enrollment Get Health Insurance?
Yes. There are a number of options outside of open enrollment, but you will need to qualify with a special condition. See HealthCare.gov or contact a licensed Florida health insurance agent to see whether you qualify for a specific registration period in which you may register for health insurance that qualifies as minimal vital coverage. You want to have a qualified health plan to avoid the tax penalty.
If you are not eligible for out-of-calendar registration, you might want to consider a temporary health insurance plan until it is possible to start ACA-compliant health insurance coverage in 2018.