If you’ve been a part of the U.S. work force for decades, you probably remember when having a job meant having health care coverage. Increasingly, that just doesn’t happen for younger workers. The cost of employer-provided Florida health insurance increases every year. A survey from the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Health Research & Educational Trust revealed that coverage increased by eight percent on individual plans and nine percent on family plans.
Although a lot of benefit analysts state that the new health care reform requirements will only play a small part in increasing premiums, the idea is political fodder for both opponents and supporters of the Affordable Care Act.
Democratic pollster Celinda Lake, for example, says some people will be afraid that reform will add to the already rapidly increasing cost of Florida health insurance plans. Proponents, on the other hand, point out that certain major health insurance companies have decided to decrease premiums after passage of health care reform. According to Nancy-Ann DeParle, assistant to the president and deputy chief of staff, the law has started to slow down premium hikes.
Earlier this year, the benefits firm Mercer reported that health spending by employers per employee rose to approximately six percent every year for the past five years. Last year, it didn’t quite reach seven percent. What’s likely to happen next year? The Kaiser survey predicted that employers should expect another 5.8 to 8.5 percent increase.
Not only are employers burdened with the rate hikes for Florida health insurance plans. But workers are also affected. As premiums increase, they have to cope with higher cost-sharing (more out-of-pocket expenses) or, worse still, no health coverage at all.
Is Group Florida Health Insurance In The Future For U.S. Workers?
Employers are finding out that individual health insurance plans can cost significantly less than group coverage in many situations. That strategy doesn’t work for employees who have pre-existing health problems because private insurance companies are still permitted to deny coverage to people most likely to need it.
By 2014, that loophole is supposed to be closed. Almost everyone will be required to maintain minimal coverage. The increase in the number of policyholders paying premiums will offset that risk for insurers of having to insure people who need health care due to chronic or serious conditions.
Until then, individual Florida health insurance plans are available for those with relatively good health, and the cost can be much lower than group coverage options. Floridians still have to do their own comparative shopping. It’s possible to find similar plans selling at different premium rates from different companies. Be cautious of newer, unknown insurance companies, though. One thing you can do to evaluate companies that are unfamiliar is to rely on financial rating groups. Certain independent organizations investigate the financial status of insurance companies and grade them to give you an idea of how financially stable the companies really are. A.M. Best, Moody’s, and Standard and Poor’s offer this type of assurance.