In 2011 the Florida state legislature approved a statute authorizing the state to make significant changes to Florida’s Medicaid Reform program already in existence as a pilot.
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Florida Health Insurance
COBRA health insurance limitations are known for professionals, but now by former employees who have lost their jobs and rely on COBRA coverage.
Expenditures for health care have more than tripled since 1990 and an estimated 46 million Americans have no health insurance at the moment. This is because some might not want to buy it. For others health insurance is not affordable and people have no means to buy it.
It seems that more and more people in Florida are losing their health insurance. This is happening either because they lose their jobs or because they choose not to have it as health insurance is not affordable and monthly premiums are increasing.
The Florida health insurance industry could undergo some massive changes in coming months. Last month, at the end of the state's legislative session, lawmakers introduced a bill that could alter the way health care is paid for in the Sunshine state. Lawmakers and doctors insist it's a way to improve and streamline Florida health insurance, insurers beg to differ.
Some consumer groups and policy advocates claim a lack of competition is preventing affordable health insurance in Florida. Reports show that a handful of large insurers dominate the state's urban regions. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida currently holds nearly 50% of the market in the central Florida region stretching from Lakeland to Kissimmee. Groups such as Health Care for America now, who publicly support President Obama's goal of government-run health care, claim additional government intervention is needed to create more affordable health insurance in Florida.
The City of Winter Haven in Florida has a new health insurance coverage program that helps the residents without health insurance coverage to get prescription medications at affordable prices. The insurance programs is called Prescription Discount Card and is available only to the residents of the City of Winter Haven of FL.
Governor Charlie Crist today encouraged Floridians without health insurance benefits to learn more about the Cover Florida Health Care Access Program during a two-day public awareness campaign focused on help available to Floridians during times of economic challenge.
Florida based WellCare, responding to a letter from Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, will suspend marketing of, and enrollments into, its Medicare health insurance plans.
WellCare had announced last year that it would offer a national Medicare Advantage drug plan starting in 2009. The Florida health insurance provider says in its release below that the current enrolled customers will not be effected by the CMS action.
Numerous culturally-relevant initiatives spearhead the efforts of the health insurance provider in Florida as Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida champions health care education and health insurance access for Florida's Hispanic community.
Some Florida residents on Monday who tried to enroll in one of the health care plans available under the state's new Cover Florida program experienced difficulties finding information about the policies on the state's Web site, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports. The program launched on Monday. According to the Sun-Sentinel, the state Agency for Health Care Administration, which coordinates the program, was unable to publish contact or Web site information of the six insurance companies that were contracted to offer the policies (LaMendola, South Florida Sun-Sentinel, 1/6).
Unemployed Florida residents will be able to enroll in Cover Florida without having been uninsured for six months, as the program requires of some other beneficiaries, Florida Health News reports. The requirement that residents be uninsured for six months to qualify for the program was intended to prevent employers and individuals from dropping their health coverage to join the state-sponsored program.
Florida Gov. Charlie Crist (R) on Wednesday signed contracts with six health insurance companies to offer affordable health coverage plans to the state's 3.8 million uninsured residents under the new Cover Florida Health Care program, the Tallahassee Democrat reports. Beginning Jan. 5, 2009, residents who are unemployed or have been without health insurance for at least six months will be eligible to select from the 25 available health plans that have an average monthly premium of $155 (Ash, Tallahassee Democrat, 12/11).
Florida governor Crist launches Cover Florida health insurance plan and invites the state's uninsured to consider affordable health insurance options. Already six health insurance providers prepare to enroll consumers, beginning January 5.
The hotline Florida Medicaid beneficiaries must call to switch health plans continues to be understaffed and consistently busy, according to the consumer advocacy group Florida CHAIN, the Florida Health News reports. CHAIN in a release said that because of the problems, "many beneficiaries are facing a disruption of essential care."
According to CHAIN, the state Agency for Health Care Administration, which oversees Medicaid, has known about the problem since the state began using a new vendor four months ago but has failed to adequately address the problems.
Thousands of children in Florida's KidCare program over the past five months may have been improperly dropped from the program's rolls because of a glitch in the state's computer system, the Daytona Beach News-Journal reports. According to the News-Journal, Rich Robleto -- executive director of Florida Healthy Kids, which administers KidCare -- said 62,500 children left the program or were terminated from May to October, about 25,000 more than normal.
The Florida Agency for Health Care Administration last week sent a proposal to Gov. Charlie Crist recommending that a Medicaid managed care pilot project be expanded to 20 additional counties, Florida Health News reports. The pilot, which currently operates in five counties under a federal Medicaid waiver, requires that beneficiaries sign up for managed care plans, usually HMOs, that offer additional benefits but also can place limits on them. The request includes an increase in Medicaid payments for specialists, which is intended to increase access for beneficiaries.
Florida Gov. Charlie Crist on Thursday announced that the state has selected six health insurance companies to provide coverage beginning in early 2009 under the state's new Cover Florida program, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports (Hafenbrack, South Florida Sun-Sentinel, 10/16).
About three in 10 Medicaid beneficiaries participating in a Florida pilot program were not aware of changes brought about by the program, namely that they were expected to choose a new health insurance policy for themselves, according to a study published on Tuesday in the journal Health Affairs, the Florida Times-Union reports (Cox, Florida Times-Union, 10/14). The program was launched in 2006 in Duval and Broward counties by the administration of then Gov.
Florida Gov. Charlie Crist's (R) Cover Florida program and two other proposed measures intended to expand health care coverage to more state residents have stalled, Florida Health News reports. State officials on Wednesday were expected to announce which of the nine health insurance companies, which submitted bids to offer basic low-cost health plans to residents, had been chosen as part of Crist's program.
A Florida state law allowing certain workers to keep dependents on their health insurance policies until age 30 was scheduled to take effect on Wednesday, but some of the specifics of the law still are being discussed, the Orlando Sentinel reports. According to the Sentinel, insurers, state regulators and employers still are trying to determine how the law will affect them.
In the past 12 months, 245 South Florida defendants have been charged with filing nearly $793.5 million in false Medicare claims, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida R. Alexander Acosta said on Tuesday, the Miami Herald reports. Acosta credited the federal Medicare Fraud Strike Force for increasing the number of prosecutions.
Three Florida HMOs have said they will continue participating in a "Medicaid Reform" plan after the Agency for Health Care Administration agreed to reduce payments by an average of 3% on Sept. 1, instead of 5% as previously announced, Florida Health News reports (Florida Health News, 9/2).
Health care experts are jumping to the defense of a new Florida law allowing health insurance providers to sell health insurance coverage plans free of expensive mandates.
The measure (see "Florida Passes Model Legislation Allowing More Health Insurance Choice," Health Care News, August 2008) has come under fire from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP), an activist group that has released a study claiming the measure will do little to reduce the number of uninsured in the Sunshine State.
Florida Gov. Charlie Crist (R) has signed a bill allowing uninsured Floridians to purchase affordable health insurance plans largely free of expensive, superfluous mandated health insurance coverages.
Experts are lauding the new legislation, the Cover Florida Health Access Act, as a positive step toward affordable health insurance and a model program for other states.
Mandates Cause Uninsurance
Twenty percent of all federal Medicare fraud prosecutions are filed in South Florida.
Florida Governor signed into law a bill that will allow the sale of low-cost, bare-bones health insurance policies.