There may be deals out there for Obamacare insurance but Orlando residents aren't going to find anything as sweet as their friends and relatives in Miami or most other cities.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services finally released some details of insurance costs in Florida and around the country. They vary from service district to service district. And in Florida, each of the 67 counties is a separate district. Orange and Osceola county basic rates are among the highest in Florida, and in the country, according to the new rates.
Democrats are touting the overall trends showing up in the report as indicating that the Obamacare health insurance costs are actually coming in lower than expected. "Obamacare is doing exactly what it was supposed to do: driving down costs and expanding coverage, U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson, D-Orlando, said in a statement released this afternoon.
But the myriad of factors that insurance companies consider when they calculate rates for any individual place are not favoring Orlando as much as many other cities. Among 25 cities HHS compared in the report it released Tuesday: for all 27-year-olds, Orlando has the fifth-highest lowest-possible premium ($182 per month) for the basic Bronze Plan; the eighth-highest ($207) for the Silver Plan and the 10th-highest ($238) for the Gold Plan. HHS didn't compare rates for the most-comprehensive Platinum Plans.
Among the 25 cities HHS compared, New York City had the most-expensive minimum-priced Bronze Plan at $219. McAllen, Texas, had the cheapest at $109. Tampa was $167; Miami, $163; West Palm Beach $147; Jacksonville $137 and Fort Lauderdale $128.
Those numbers do not include any of the tax credit subsidies that most Obamacare clients will get, which should dramatically reduce their actual costs.
Yet HHS did release some select data including subsidies for hypothetical cases. Orlando didn't stack up well in those comparisons either. A 27-year-old with an income of $25,000 a year in Orlando could expect the subsidies to push his out-of-pocket monthly premium down to $102 for a Bronze Plan. That's the sixth-highest cost in the country among the 25 cities on the list.
Tampa's was actually higher, at $113 per month. Miami came in at $87; Fort Lauderdale, $74; and both West Palm Beach and Jacksonville, $72. Pheonix was highest in the country at $123; Washington D.C. was lowest at $66.
Likewise, a 27-year-old Orlando resident with a family of four and a family income of $50,000 could expect to buy a policy, after tax credits, for $126 a month, also sixth-highest on the HHS list. In Tampa he'd pay $165; Miami, $72; Fort Lauderdale $24; Jacksonville $19; and West Palm Beach $18. In Phoenix it would cost $209. In Washington it would be free.