Report: Floridians with insurance still can’t afford health care

Reporter: Nicole Gabe Writer: Jack Lowenstein
Published: Updated:

Health care is expensive. Last year, Florida was among the top-9 states with the highest premiums and deductibles, and it was one of 42 states where costs where roughly 10% of most peoples’ income.

We looked at why health care costs in Florida are among the highest in the country and what can be done about it.

Numerous people we spoke to over the last several months have  health care bills ranging from hundreds of dollars for a quick trip to the ER to $10,000 or more for a long-term illness.

A new report confirms millions of Floridians have health insurance but still can’t afford health care.

“It’s a function of both income and what people contribute to their premiums and the size of their deductibles,” said Sara Collins, the lead author of the report.

We asked Collins why people in Florida face these health care struggles.

“The reason for that is because premiums are not that much higher than they are in the rest of the country,” Collins said. “But employees contribute a little more to their plans than they do in other parts of the country, and medium income in Florida is lower than average.”

Florida having 14% or more of median income, that’s what shocks Collins.

“People’s deductibles are becoming greater than 5% of their income in many states, including Florida,” Collins said. “And that’s the threshold that people are under insured.”

This means people will stop refilling prescriptions and getting necessary health care.

Allen Weiss, the former CEO of NCH said he isn’t surprised by the findings.

“Everybody is affected by the cost of health care,” Weiss said. “And as the costs go up, access goes down.”

Weiss believes the best way to treat this issue is by focusing on prevention.

“Trying to keep people healthy, so they don’t need healthcare,” Weiss said. “That would be a real saving for everybody.”

This is Collin’s advice for what people can do to manage their health care budget.

“In terms of deductibles, what’s really important is to look at the fine print and your health plan,” said. “Because many services are going to be excluded from your deductible.”

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