The health insurance annual enrollment period is well underway and we are seeing a high number of enrollments in the Sarasota, Bradenton, Ellenton, and Parrish FL areas. This will officially be the third annual enrollment period for Obamacare. Here’s our quick thoughts so far:
1)Prices continue to rise
Healthy Americans who don’t qualify for tax credits through the Marketplace are seeing pretty dramatic plan price increases. There will need to be more market stability for this program to be a long term deal and not just a short term experiment. The truth is that rates are double and triple what they were for healthy people before Obamacare kicked in. Somehow our politicians are going to have to put their heads together and figure out a way to keep prices in check, both for health insurance, but also the price of medical care.
2)Health Insurance Plan Options are Shrinking
Instead of seeing more insurers joining the Marketplace, we are seeing less. United Healthcare is scaling back their plan offerings for 2016 because they claim they can’t continue to lose money through the Marketplace. In Florida, Aetna and Florida Blue are the main insurance companies competing for business. Many experts believe the success of the Marketplace will hinge on these two companies and their patience for profits. Right now the government is subsidizing these companies to hedge their losses, but this will end in 2017.
3)More and more consumers turning to short term health insurance
Although, short term health insurance is not considered ‘minimum essential coverage’ by the government, hence opening the door for a potential tax penalty, more and more consumers are turning to these policies because they offer ‘catastrophic’ type coverage at a fraction of the cost of ACA policies.
It will be interesting to see how the state of Florida continues to navigate the murking health insurance waters faced by its citizens. The future success of this program will hinge on some much needed changes to help ignite a thriving market for health insurance once again.