Florida Blue, the state’s largest health insurer, will remain in the individual market for 2018 and offer plans this fall in all 67 counties on the Affordable Care Act’s marketplace platform at healthcare.gov — assuming it still exists.
The company’s decision puts to rest concerns that it might join other individual-market insurers that have recently announced pullouts from some large U.S. markets.
Company representatives outlined Florida Blue’s plans in an interview with The News-Press on Friday.
“We’re pretty confident that we can continue to serve the people of Florida and be a competitive force with whoever is in the marketplace.” said David Pizzo, Florida Blue market president for the company’s west region. “We only sell health insurance in Florida and this is our home, so we don’t have the luxury of pulling out or trying to target profitable counties. We’re in it for good.”
The company did not say what premium increases it will seek when it notifies the state of its intentions later this month.
Last year, Florida approved a 19% rate increase for Florida Blue. The average increase for all insurers was 19.1%. But those figures don’t take into account the subsidies that about 93% of buyers received.
But Pizzo said the company will base its premium price requests on the assumption that the Trump administration will leave in place what are known as cost-sharing reduction (or CSR) payments to insurers. The subsidies help insurance companies to lower premiums, deductibles and co-payments for low-income policyholders.