Health Exchange Rates Rising For Floridians


FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) _ The majority of health insurance premiums sold on the federal exchange are increasing for Floridians this year.

But the hikes weren’t as big as they could have been because state regulators used new authority to negotiate lower rates.

The Office of Insurance Regulation revealed Wednesday that Aetna requested a 21 percent increase for plans sold in 2016, but the agency only approved 14 percent, while Coventry requested a 16 percent hike and was approved for 8 percent.

This is the first year the state had the power to negotiate Affordable Care Act rates with health plans.

The Obama administration sent a letter to state insurance officials last month encouraging them to keep affordability as a priority during rate negotiations.

Florida’s increases aren’t staggering as health insurance rates rose as much as 20 or 30 percent before the exchange launched.