Report: Top Florida insurer signals premium hikes

Report: Top Florida insurer signals premium hikes
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Florida's leading health insurance company signaled that its ObamaCare customers may face rate hikes next year due to a higher-than-expected number of older, sicker enrollees.

Patrick Geraghty, CEO of Florida Blue, said his firm will be under "tremendous financial pressure" in 2015 "given the age, risk profile and high utilization" of its new customers.

"It's far from clear that large enrollment in the marketplace is a financially beneficial place to be," Geraghty told Kaiser Health News in an exclusive interview, adding that Florida Blue will nonetheless remain in the state's individual market.

The comments heighten expectations that some ObamaCare policyholders in Florida may face marked premium increases next year.

Florida Blue garnered about one-third of the state's enrollment under the law, roughly 339,000 customers, but appears to have underpriced its policies for ObamaCare's first year.

Most insurers in the state have not publicly disclosed their proposed 2015 premiums despite submitting them last month to state health officials.

Filings reported by Health News Florida last month spread confusion after the outlet initially interpreted "zero" percent increases as the proposed rate changes, not a claim of trade secrets.

Republicans will be eager to blast any dramatic premium hikes as indication that ObamaCare is hurting consumers.

Democrats point to the current trend of minor price increases for next year to contradict this claim.