- Personal health factors
- Where you live
- What insurance company you choose
- What plan options you decide on
In many ways, buying health insurance in Florida is like buying it anywhere else in the nation, but there are some aspects unique to a state that will affect how much you pay for your premium if you reside there.
Whether you reside in Florida or any other state you can compare health insurance rates by simply clicking here and entering your local zip code.
What should I know about health insurance in the state of Florida?
According to the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation, Florida law does not place any limits on the cost of private health insurance, but the state has taken measures to prevent companies from cancelling policies due to illness. When you can prove you have had a policy unfairly terminated, you can apply for HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) Eligibility, which means you can get a new policy on a guaranteed-issue basis where you will not need to answer any questions about your health.
Insurance reports issued by the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation in 2010 indicate that there are currently 828 life and health insurance companies licensed in the state. When premiums versus the number of policies and loss ratios were reviewed, it was evident that premiums have on average remained unchanged between the years of 2008-2010.
Still, Florida currently ranks 4th in the cost of insurance premiums (taking into account all types of insurance, not limited to health insurance) in the United States behind California, New York, and Texas. When premiums in specific areas of Florida are examined more closely Miami-Dade County has some of the highest in the country.
What factors drive up the cost of health insurance in Florida?
Forbes Magazine recently reported that while Miami-Dade County has several medical facilities at the top of cutting edge medical technology they are also at the top when it comes to the cost of health care. These high health care costs drive up the cost of health insurance premiums. Several other factors affect the cost of premiums throughout the state of Florida. These include:
Aging Population – With age there is a greater risk for illness. The baby boomer generation has now reached retirement age and many of these individuals have chosen to move to the warm climate of Florida.
Chronic Illness – With an increased average age a much greater prevalence for chronic disease exists. People today are living much longer than in the past, and with the extended years, there is a greater chance they will develop a serious illness at some point.
Prescription Drug Costs – This issue is not unique to Florida, but with the increased average age, more people rely on a variety of prescriptions. As pharmaceutical companies charge more and more for the medicines they produce, insurance plans that help pay for these cost more.
Administrative Costs – This issue is also not unique to Florida, but a problem nationwide. The cost to operate a business is increasing and these rising costs are passed on to consumers.
What personal factors affect the cost of my insurance premiums?
Regardless of whether you live in Florida or elsewhere in the United States, several personal factors will affect what you will pay for health insurance. Some of these will change depending on the insurance company you choose, but others, such as your health condition, will be weighted heavily, no matter the provider in which you decide to purchase a policy. These factors include:
- Personal health condition
- Lifestyle including smoking and drinking habits
- Location where you live
- Work environment
- Your age
- Genetics/Family health history
- Number of dependents on the policy and their health condition
- Length of the policy term you choose
How can I lower my health insurance premium cost?
There are several ways you can attempt to lower the cost of your health insurance premium. First, you may choose to opt for a plan without any bells and whistles. Just make sure you do your research ahead of time to be certain a basic plan will suit your medical needs. You can also opt for a higher co-pay or deductible. Some people choose a plan with a higher deductible in addition to a tax-free Health Savings Account (HSA) to offset the deductible cost.
It also will benefit you to shop around and consider using an independent insurance agent who will work for you to find the best rate. The National Association of Health Underwriters goes a step further to recommend you use a professional insurance advisor to help you to precisely determine your needs versus your budget.
Start shopping around now for your health insurance policy. Click here and enter your zip code for a list of health insurance quotes from several providers in your area.