While Washington tries to untangle health care mess, Bay Area could face Fewer Insurance Options

Posted at 6:48 PM, Jul 19, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-19 18:48:10-04
Where you live could impact your insurance coverage.
Here in the Tampa Bay area, most counties have at least four health insurance providers,  But when you get into some of the more rural areas of the state, like the panhandle, they only have one carrier to chose from in most counties.
But if "let it fail"  becomes the solution, then it may affect everyone's options.
Failure may be an option in Washington, but for people who need health insurance, "failure" equals real pain.
The insurance landscape in Florida is a lot like our sinkhole problem. Some markets are solid, others fragile, leaving people with fewer choices and higher premiums.
But Joseph Gannon with  EZ Healthmart says compared to most states Florida is actually doing okay... for now.
"In states like Florida it's doing well especially in areas like south Florida where you have 345 carries competing for the clientele that are here," he says.
But that could all change if lawmakers don't fix health care. 
The "let if fail" strategy will lead to higher premiums most people can't afford.
"We pay for more and we get less. Until we start fixing that, if we're going to pay off what we got were foolish, sometimes we are foolish," says USF Professor Dr. Jay Wolfson.
Next year Florida will likely have  six insurance companies, which is one more than in 2017.
But in some counties the choices will still be very limited, and could become more limited if lawmakers do nothing.