Thursday, August 01, 2013

The Orange Blossom Special Train Wreck

Florida insurance regulators unveiled for the first time Wednesday the prices proposed by private insurers for individual health plans to be sold on the state’s federally-run exchange, which is scheduled to launch Oct. 1.

But the proposed health plans and prices — and the state’s analysis that federal healthcare reform would cause premiums to rise — were hardly definitive of the actual costs that Floridians are likely to pay for health insurance next year.

That’s because the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has yet to approve the proposed health plans for Florida’s exchange, and those plans, including the prices, may change as they have in other states.

And while Florida insurance regulators said this week that the Affordable Care Act will cause the price of individual health plans sold in 2014 to rise 30 to 40 percent higher than similar plans sold today, and small group plan premiums could rise by 15 to 20 percent, they also conceded that those projections were based on a “hypothetical” health plan that does not exist anywhere in the state.

What’s more, the price projections released by the state do not factor in substantial government subsidies that will be available to many consumers based on household income, which will offset their actual out-of-pocket

-from the front page of today's Miami Herald.

Read carefully the "What's more" paragraph - an editorial gloss by your friendly journalists, who otherwise orchestrate the tone of this article into a "surely it won't be so bad" key.  Those "substantial government subsidies" come from the taxpayers and from those insureds paying the increased premiums, persons to whom those subsidies will not be available "based on household income."

But we shall see, won't we?  Sometime after the mid-term Congressional elections, of course.  One only hopes that the writers of this article (and their editors) will someday bear the full "out-of-pocket" impact of the AFA.

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