Florida health insurance premiums will rise 13 percent next year under Obamacare, according to official state figures. The unwelcome news affirms warnings that the Patient Protect and Affordable Care Act would dramatically increase insurance costs.
Florida’s Office of Insurance Regulation yesterday released data on the 14 health plans offered by various insurers that meet Obamacare requirements and are being offered to Floridians on the private market and through the federally run health care exchange. On average, the 14 health plans include a 13.2 percent premium hike in 2015.
According to the Miami Herald, insurers have reported that factors specific to Obamacare are responsible for the dramatic price increases. Adding previously uninsured people to Obamacare is driving up costs for everyone else, and the newly insured people are using more healthcare services than expected.
Mandating that insurers take on clients with preexisting conditions is driving premiums up still higher, as many decline to purchase insurance until after they are diagnosed with expensive health problems.
Obamacare advocates insist that federal subsidies soften the pain of rising premiums for Florida health insurance customers. However, the federal subsidies merely alter how and to whom Floridians pay their higher health care costs.
Paying higher taxes to the federal government so that the federal government can turn around and mitigate some of Obamacare’s premium hikes may end up limiting premium hikes, but it does not reduce the overall higher costs people must pay for health insurance.
“Even with a federal subsidy, that could mean an out-of-pocket cost of $500 or more per month to have coverage that still requires Florida families to pay about 30 percent of expenses out-of-pocket,” Florida’s Office of Insurance Regulation explained.
“Obamacare is a bad law that just seems to be getting worse,” said Florida Gov. Rick Scott in reaction to the new health insurance data. “Florida families are going to be slammed with higher costs.”
When Congress debated whether to enact Obamacare, President Obama promised that the higher costs of adding new enrollees and allowing people to freeload off the system until after they received a diagnosis for an expensive medical problem would be offset by lower costs caused by people no longer going to the emergency room for basic healthcare treatment and then stiffing hospitals on their emergency room bills.
Obamacare opponents warned that the savings would not come close to making up for the higher costs. Real-world healthcare costs are proving Obama wrong.
The U.S. Senate approved Obamacare by a single vote in 2010, with Florida Sen. Bill Nelson voting in favor.