Florida Health Insurance Regulation

Florida Health Insurance Regulation

The state of Florida health insurance premiums is in a state of flux. Many believe that this is due to ObamaCare, yet a closer look at health insurance regulations will demonstrate that ObamaCare is not to blame. Instead, the blame lies solely on state regulations.

Florida Office of Insurance Regulation

According to its official website, the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation is charged with “responsibilities for regulation, compliance, and enforcements of statutes related to the business of insurance.” The office is headed up by the Florida Commissioner of Insurance Regulation, which is an appointed position. Both the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation and the Commissioner were created in 1998.

Since that time, one of the main purposes of this division of the state government of Florida was the regulation of health insurance premiums. Or, that was the case until the year the Supreme Court upheld ObamaCare in 2012.

Suspension of Health Insurance Premium Regulation

In 2013, Florida Governor Scott signed Florida Senate Bill 1842 into effect. This bill suspended the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation’s ability to regulate healthcare premium rates for two years. The governor gave ObamaCare as his reason for this suspension. He claimed that there was no need for the state of Florida to regulate insurance premiums when the federal government addressed premium regulation within the Affordable Care Act. Florida Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty echoed the sentiment that the ACA contains a “self-regulator” that was meant to keep health insurance premiums down.

Error in Thinking

The only problem with Senate Bill 1842 is that the ACA doesn’t grant the federal government the power to regulate health insurance premiums. The so called “self-regulator” that McCarty referred to is actually a rebate system controlling how much of insurance premiums go toward administrative costs. According to ObamaCare, if a health insurance provider goes over this medical-loss ratio, then that company has to refund the amount of overage back to its customers.

Explaining Increases in Premium Rates

This provision within ObamaCare doesn’t regulate premium costs at all. Other than the medical- loss ratio, the federal government requires insurance companies to publicly justify the reasons for the increases. That’s all.

Federal Government Encourages State Health Insurance Premium Regulation

Not only does the federal government not regulate health insurance premium prices, it encourages the states to regulate these rates. The federal government provides a grant to states to states that want to review their insurance premium regulating powers, you can visit https://floridainsurancequotes.net/health-insurance-quote/ and see what the premiums are for your needs. The erroneous nature of the state of Florida’s position that the ACA regulates increases to health insurance premiums is the fact that premiums have increased greatly and are expected to increase dramatically again in 2016.

Predictions for Premium Rate Increases

Several of the major health insurance providers in Florida have requested a huge increase in premium rates for 2016. These major rate increases range from 12 to 21%. Obviously, the ACA is not regulating insurance premium rate increases with rate increase request coming out with large requests.

So Then Why is There all of This Finger Pointing?

It would appear that the state government doesn’t care about the increase in health insurance premiums. It would seem that the state government is pouting about ObamaCare. It’s as if the state of Florida doesn’t want to have anything to do with ObamaCare insurance premiums because of the well-documented Florida opposition to ObamaCare.

The Ones Who Suffer

Unfortunately, this position taken by the Florida politicians doesn’t punish either President Obama or the federal legislature. Instead, the people of Florida who have to pay the premiums for ObamaCare policies will be the ones to suffer from premium rate increases because, obviously, no one is regulating health insurance premiums in Florida.

 

Posted in Florida Health Insurance