Florida Blue, Florida's largest health insurer, will be raising premiums by 17.6% next year, according to company officials. This week, state officials are expected to release rate information for all companies, and you can expect rate increases across the board; according to insurers, their new consumers are older and sicker than anticipated. Given that this is the fourth year in a row that Florida Blue has increased premiums by at least 11% for people under 65 who buy coverage on their own, it seems unlikely that insurers didn't see this coming.
"In the individual market, this type of average rate increase is typical," Florida Blue CEO Patrick Geraghty told Kaiser Health News. "It's is not aberrant."
Meanwhile, the Uber of healthcare is expanding from Manhattan to Brooklyn this week. The app Pager offers house call services from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., 365 days a year, and after-hours on nights and weekends for an additional fee. Created by Uber co-founder Oscar Salazar, the app is similar to Medicast, which offers house call services in south Florida, San Diego, Orange County and Los Angeles.
Much like an urgent care visit, house calls—the norm 50 years ago—cost much less than an E.R. visit. Both Pager and Medicast offer a flat rate ($199 for a house call) and a monthly plan than allows for a certain number of visits per year. As of yet, the companies aren't able to accept insurance, but that is likely to change going forward.
"I believe we will see a shift away from medical practice exclusively in the brick and mortar model," said Pager physician Dr. Kimberly Henderson. Henderson also works in the emergency room at Beth Israel Medical Center. "Medicine will become, or return to being, more mobile," Henderson said.
Meanwhile, this week on Healthcare Dive...
Violence in hospitals has grabbed national attention lately, most recently the shooting of a caseworker in a Pennsylvania hospital two weeks ago. Providers vary in their approaches to gun safety, and Healthcare Dive spoke to several security consultants to learn what hospitals can do to prevent incidents. Read the story this week.