Affordable Care Act: Fla insurance officials say rates to rise for small business, individual market

Part of state's new exchange

MIAMI (AP) -- Florida's insurance officials are predicting that health insurance rates will rise 5 to 20 percent for small businesses and 30 to 40 percent in the individual market through the state's new exchange.

Officials released those figures Wednesday during a meeting of the Florida Health Insurance Advisory Board in Tallahassee.

But many residents making less than $48,000 a year will receive a voucher from the federal government to help offset those premiums.

Some of the state's largest individual health insurers, including Florida Blue and Cigna, will be among 11 plans competing through the exchange.

Under the Affordable Care Act, insurers can no longer turn away people with pre-existing medical conditions and limits what they can charge to older policy holders. Covered benefits will also be expanded.

Starting Oct. 1, consumers can compare different private insurance plans through the online exchange.

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