TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (10/31/07) - The Florida Health Insurance Advisory Board (FHIAB) yesterday issued a report about the Florida health insurance market covering the period 2001 to 2006.
The report focused on distinct segments of the health-care market including the in-state and out-of-state group markets, the small-group market, large-group market and individual market. The findings were mixed.
The report outlined some positive trends, including lower loss ratios for the health care industry and it noted increased numbers of Floridians with health insurance.
The most important development was the growth in the small group and individual markets from 2005 to 2006. During this year, the small group market increased 58,000 covered lives, while the individual market increased 111,000 covered lives.
The report also expressed concern about other important factors including the overall increase in the percentage of uninsured citizens. Citing data from the U.S. Census Bureau, 25 percent of Floridians under the age of 65 are now without health insurance coverage.
"There have been a number of positive developments in Florida's health insurance market including the growth of the small-group and individual health markets," remarked Insurance Commissioner and FHIAB Board Chairman Kevin McCarty. "However, having 25 percent of Floridians without health insurance is a serious concern."
The Census Bureau data showed that 3.8 million Floridians do not have health insurance. The report also showed a decrease in covered lives in the commercial health insurance market from 2001 to 2006: 5.1 million to 4.5 million. The 2006 figure, though, represents a modest increase compared to 4.2 million covered lives in 2005. The 2006 increase is partly due to growth in the individual health market, which has grown 32 percent since 2001.
The report itself does not propose solutions to improve the environment for Florida's commercial health insurance market, but the FHIAB will be presenting legislative recommendations for the 2008 Legislative Session at its next meeting - Nov. 2 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Orlando at the University of Central Florida Student Union, Key West CD Room.
The report is the third in a series being compiled by the FHIAB. A copy of the full report is available for review.
About the Florida Health Insurance Advisory Board
The Board was established by the Florida Legislature in 1992 as the Small Employer Health Reinsurance Program. Its purpose was to promote the availability of health care coverage to small employers. At that time, Board members were primarily representatives of health insurers licensed under chapter 624 or 641 of the Florida Statutes. In 2005, the Legislature expanded the composition of the Board to include representatives of employers, an individual policyholder and a representative from the Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA). The Board's responsibilities also were expanded to include an advisory role on health insurance issues to the Office of Insurance Regulation, AHCA, the Department of Financial Services other executive departments and to the Legislature.
About the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation
The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation (Office) has primary responsibility for regulation, compliance and enforcement of statutes related to the business of insurance and the monitoring of industry markets. Business units within the Office are organized based on regulatory expertise and include the areas of life and health, property and casualty, specialty lines and other regulated insurance entities. It is within the Office that the mission of public protection is implemented through regulatory oversight of insurance company solvency, policy forms and rates, market conduct performance and new company entrants to the Florida market.
For more information about the Office, please visit www.floir.com.
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