FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — Uninsured Floridians will have to wait awhile longer to find out exactly how much Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) exchange plans will cost them.
Kaiser Family Foundation analysts said Tuesday that Florida insurance officials organized the exchange plan rate data in a way that makes it difficult to understand.
“We did spend a lot of time looking at rate filings in Florida, but they’re fairly opaque even for people that know what they are doing,” said Gary Claxton, a vice president for the foundation.
Florida’s rate system was more difficult to follow than other states because some of the insurers have asked to keep portions of the rates from the public, calling them trade secrets. In other cases, it was difficult to tell which region insurers were covering or whether the filings were for bronze, silver or gold plans, Claxton said.
“We would have loved to include Florida if we could figure it out, we just couldn’t figure it out,” he said during a national media call.
State insurance officials said they will release more information on the new rates as it becomes available. The public exchanges are supposed to launch Oct. 1 and the first health coverage sold is supposed to kick in starting in January.
“Other reports and studies include the impact of federal subsidies and (are) not comparable to the premium impact data released by the office. However, a subsidy analysis has been performed by the office and is expected to be released within the next week,” according to a statement from the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation.
Florida Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty said in July that rates will rise an average of 5 to 20 percent for small businesses and 30 to 40 percent in the individual market. But he said those increases are partly due to the fact that consumers will receive more benefits, and the higher costs will be offset by federal subsidies in many cases.
Most of the state’s roughly 3.5 million uninsured residents will not see extreme price hikes, McCarty said.