U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) has introduced legislation that could lower health insurance premiums for some Floridians by as much as 13 percent.
The legislation, which Nelson and others introduced in the Senate yesterday, would create a permanent reinsurance program to help stabilize the individual health insurance marketplace. That stability, according to one Florida insurer, would likely lower premiums in Florida by up to 13 percent.
“We have to focus on fixing our nation’s health care system and finding ways to make health care more affordable,” Nelson said. “This bill, which will help reduce Floridians’ health insurance premiums by as much as 13 percent, is one step in the right direction.”
If approved, the legislation would create a permanent reinsurance fund to help health insurance companies cover the cost of larger-than-expected insurance claims.
The reinsurance fund would be available to health insurance companies participating in state and federal exchanges, encouraging these companies to offer more plans in more markets. This increased competition among insurers would eventually help drive down prices for consumers who purchase health insurance through HealthCare.gov.
Specifically, the reinsurance fund would reimburse insurers 80 percent of claims ranging from $50,000 to $500,000 from 2018 until 2020. Starting in 2021, the fund would cover 80 percent of claims ranging from $100,000 to $500,000.
The bill also provides additional funding to help states improve outreach and increase enrollment in insurance marketplaces. It now heads to the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee for consideration.
Full text of the legislation can be found here.