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Health insurance rates to increase

Commissioner McCarty says there are two main reasons he expects the big increases.
   
Starting next year, people with pre-existing conditions can no longer be kept from getting health coverage for their conditions in Florida.   
Other states have already required insurance companies to make arrangements for those consumers.           

Second, insurers will have to provide a basic minimum plan, which in many cases is more comprehensive than what has been sold in Florida.

Tommy Anderson, Pensacola: "It will affect me greatly."
   
Folks we spoke with were not happy to hear about Commissioner McCarty's predictions.

Tommy Anderson, Pensacola: "The rates going up. You already have to fight tooth and nail right now to even pay a medical bill!"
Cindy McIrvin, Pensacola: "I'll have to come up with it somehow. Whether it's, you know, find another job or an extra job or whatever it takes to do it."
   
Analysts say subsidies, in the form of tax credits will lessen the impact for most middle-class people.
   
And they say companies will need young, uninsured people to buy coverage to keep rates affordable for everyone else.
   
The big question is: How many will do so?
   
Next year's tax penalty for not buying insurance is $95 dollars adult.
   
You can get out of having to pay that in a few ways, for example: if you can't afford coverage or if you've gone without insurance for less than three consecutive months.

McCarty says he does not expect much of an impact on large-group insurance - or plans offered by companies with more than 100 employees.
   
We asked the White House for their reaction to the Commissioner's comments and so far have not received a response.