Florida Blue to hit exchange customers with rate hike

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Florida Blue is planning to increase rates an average of 17.6 percent next year for those who purchase coverage through the Affordable Care Act‘s federal health-insurance exchange, reports the Kaiser Health News.

The Jacksonville-based insurer, once known as Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida, said the increase is due to more older adults obtaining coverage through the exchange. Older adults often have higher medical costs than those who are younger and healthier.

Florida Blue also noted that individual-insurance premiums have experienced double-digit increases in recent years, regardless of the effect of Obamacare.

“In the individual market, this type of average rate increase is typical,” Florida Blue Chief Executive Officer Patrick Geraghty told the Kaiser Health News.

State insurance regulators will release rate information for all companies sometime next week.

Phil Ammann is a St. Petersburg-based journalist and blogger. With more than three decades of writing, editing and management experience, Phil produced material for both print and online, in addition to founding HRNewsDaily.com. His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for Patch.com, technical articles and profiles for BetterRVing Magazine and advice columns for a metaphysical website, among others. Phil has served as a contributor and production manager for SaintPetersBlog since 2013. He lives in St. Pete with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul and can be reached at phil@floridapolitics.com and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.