Florida Blue CEO, Patrick Geraghty, expressed his satisfaction with the results of the ACA’s first-year enrollment numbers, which added 339,000 Florida Blue customers through the Marketplace, according to a Kaiser Health News article.
Geraghty said the surge in membership produced fewer young, healthy enrollees along with a higher than expected demand for expensive health care services. About 23 percent of Florida Blue’s exchange buyers were young adults in the 18-to-34 category. While that figure was expected to be lower than the national average (28 percent) because of Florida’s older population, it was still below the company’s projections.
“It’s a concern certainly, as any market would want lower-age healthier individuals … because it balances the risk pool,” Geraghty said.
Overall, Florida Blue, noted as one of the most fiscally stable health insurers in the country, has about a 40 percent share of the total individual state insurance market (On and Off Marketplace).
Although one-third of Florida consumers––nearly one million people––chose Florida Blue when shopping on the exchange, several factors could still exert upward pressure on rates next year.
While proposed 2015 rates are not yet revealed, several factors could drive up rates next year—including the law’s requirement for younger adults: that the oldest person buying coverage pay no more than three times the rate paid by the youngest enrollee.
“We will be under tremendous financial pressure initially given the age, risk profile and high utilization of the new membership,” Geraghty said. “It is far from clear that large enrollment in the marketplace is a financially beneficial place to be.”
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