Florida 2015 Individual Insurance Rates Not As Bad As Feared: White House

Obama administration officials challenged reports that individual plans will go up an average of 13.2 percent next year. In addition, there are updates on Connecticut and Washington insurance cost and coverage issues.

Miami Herald: White House: Rates In Florida Will Decline For Affordable Care Act Exchange Plans
Most Floridians who buy an Obamacare health plan for 2015 will pay less in monthly premiums, White House officials said Wednesday — a rebuttal to this week's report from Florida officials saying rates will rise an average of 13.2 percent for new plans in the individual market next year. Both analyses are mathematically correct, relying on different ways to slice the Affordable Care Act numbers with Florida’s Republican-led Legislature and governor staunchly opposed to the health law, and the White House eager to show that the law is working to bring healthcare to more Americans. One important difference is that Florida officials in the report from the state Office of Insurance Regulation calculated an average for all health plans sold on the individual market — counting plans sold on the ACA exchange along with those that are not (Chang, 8/6).

The CT Mirror: Do Public Hearings Influence What Health Insurance Costs?
A Fairfield County couple traveled to Hartford in June to urge regulators not to let Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield raise rates on close to 66,200 health insurance policies, including their son's. It was the first public hearing in nearly four years on a proposal to raise individual-market health insurance rates in the state. A month later, the Connecticut Insurance Department rejected Anthem’s proposal and suggested it seek a smaller rate increase. But what role did the public hearing have in that outcome? Not much, according to the department’s written decision (Levin Becker, 8/6).

Meanwhile -- 

The Associated Press: Many Still Can’t Use Washington Health Coverage
Seven months after major glitches in the Washington health exchange were discovered, authorities acknowledge that thousands of state residents still don't have insurance they can use to go to the doctor or fill a prescription. Although some problems have been resolved during the past few weeks, new issues also have come to light in Washington's implementation of the federal health care overhaul. Insurance companies and the state insurance commissioner are concerned the total number of people who bought insurance through the exchange and are now having billing problems could be many more than the 6,000 customers identified by the exchange a few weeks ago (Blankinship, 8/6).

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