Florida O-Care filings spread confusion

A news report published Tuesday suggested that not a single insurer would raise rates on Florida's ObamaCare exchange, a conclusion that turned out to be false. 

The piece in Health News Florida, which was picked up by The Hill and other outlets, misinterpreted insurers' preliminary filings with the state.

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While the insurers appeared to file for “zero” percent increases in premiums, state regulators suggested that the numeral indicated a claim of trade secrets, not an actual rate filing. 

It is likely that larger insurers like Cigna, United Healthcare and the Florida Blues are trying to raise premiums but hoping not to disclose how much.

“Some of the insurers that had listed 'zero' for their requested rate increase were fibbing to keep their real intentions secret,” Health News Florida reported in a follow-up piece. 

“The companies provided the actual rate requests to OIR, but the agency will not make them public for several weeks.” 

Two of the insurers on the exchange may be trying to lower rates by 7.9 and 11.16 percent on average, but state regulators took down the disclosure site before those numbers could be verified. 

The public will not have access to the full rates until late July. 

In the meantime, states around the country are beginning to disclose insurers' proposed rates for next year. 

While some carriers are hoping to increase their prices by low double digits, predictions of dramatic hikes from ObamaCare critics have not panned out so far. 

More insurers are also trying to join the system in its second year.

This story was corrected at 9:33 a.m. on June 25.