Restrictive government regulations limit health insurance options in Florida.opinion

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The Obamacare Exchange is the largest part of the personal health insurance market.

The Obamacare Exchange is the largest part of the personal health insurance market.

Associated Press

It’s open enrollment season, and once again, Floridians are facing huge increases in Obamacare premiums (7.2%) than nationwide (6.2%). This year’s price increases represent a cumulative 265% increase in Obamacare premiums since the law went into effect.

A new federal study points to one potential cause of rising insurance premiums. Florida’s health insurance market is becoming less competitive.

Lawmakers said removing state bans on consumers and employers purchasing health insurance from Puerto Rico and other U.S. territories would create greater competition and make health insurance more affordable for both consumers and employers. You can make it affordable.

This is the underlying principle of the market economy. Poor competition means fewer choices and higher prices.

The health insurance market is no exception. “Premiums . describe Economist Martin Gaynor. For example, “Eliminating employer-choice insurers could lead to a significant (16.6%) increase in insurance premiums.”

Over the past few years, the national health insurance market has become increasingly uncompetitive.

new federation report It shows that this trend continues rapidly in Florida. In the state’s personal market, where consumers buy their own health insurance, the market share of the three largest insurers increased by 20% from his 2011 to his 2020.

The largest part of the private market is the Obamacare exchange. In that market:

The average market share of the largest insurers in each state region increased from 59% to 68% between 2015 and 2020.

Since 2017, the combined market share of the three largest insurers has hovered between 95% and 100%.

The average number of insurers a member can choose from has decreased from 6.1 in 2015 to 3.8 in 2020.

Small businesses face an even greater reduction in choice. In that market:

The market share of the big three insurers reached 95% in 2020.

The average Florida small business had 16 insurers to choose from in 2011, but by 2020 that number had dropped to 7.

Even large companies have limited options. From 2011 to 2022, the combined market share of the top three increased by nearly 10% as the number of insurers in this market decreased from 14 to 9.

This is not a market failure. It is the result of government regulation.

Generally, government regulation encourages market concentration. This is because smaller companies have to raise prices more than large companies bear the same regulatory costs. Health insurance regulations are no exception.All about Obamacare price controls, network adequacy requirements, and other regulations Have An unintended consequence of reducing competition.

Other regulations appear as if their purpose is to reduce competition. Florida outright prohibits state residents from purchasing fully acceptable health insurance available in other states and US territories.meeting impede Entering and Competing in the Health Insurance Market to punish Unless you subscribe to a plan offered by your employer,

The most promising path to reviving competition in Florida’s health insurance market is to end the ban on health insurance from Puerto Rico and elsewhere. Hmm.Lifting the ban will allow Floridians to freely purchase plans Broader provider network Costs more than Obamacare plans 70% Less than.

Etna, united health care, Humana When blue cross blue shield I already do business in at least one region and have a provider network in Florida. Floridians can purchase plans from these carriers or other carriers that have regulatory approval from their region.

With increased competition, insurers face greater pressure to deliver quality products. As a backstop, legislators could require such carriers to include the Territory’s governing rules in their policies, allowing Floridians to enforce consumer protections in Florida courts.

Florida legislators have a choice. A dwindling number of domestic insurance companies can be allowed to continue to weigh on Sunshine State residents. Alternatively, we can provide Florida consumers and employers with better, more affordable and safer health insurance options.

Michael F. Cannon is director of health policy research at the Libertarian-Kate Institute andHealthcare market concentration: government is the problem, not the solution.

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