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Florida Blue to have many ACA exchange shelves to itself

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Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida, a carrier that avoids selling through brokers, and Health Option, its health maintenance organization arm, is on track to offer both individual exchange plans and individual off-exchange plans in all counties in Florida in 2017. 

Freedom Life, a unit of the Grapevine, Texas-based USHealth Group, is on track to sell individual off-exchange plans in all counties, according to a Florida Office of Insurance Regulation spreadsheet.

Six other carriers expect to sell individual coverage off-exchange in many Florida counties. But the Florida exchange, which is operated by HealthCare.gov, will have individual plans from issuers other than Florida Blue and Health Option only in the higher-population counties, such as Dade County and Broward County.

Related: Florida individual health increases to average 19 percent

In the past, carriers have flocked to Florida’s section of HealthCare.gov, and Florida residents have been major exchange plan buyers. About 1.8 million Florida residents have exchange plan coverage, and Florida’s HealthCare.gov exchange has gotten more people covered than any other state’s exchange.

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