One Quarter Of Florida Residents Lack Health Insurance Coverage
One in four Florida residents younger than age 65 is uninsured, and thenumber of uninsured Florida residents of all ages increased by 38% overthe past eight years, according to a report recently released by theFlorida Health Insurance Advisory Board, the Miami Heraldreports. According to the report, based on U.S. Census data, there areabout 3.8 million uninsured residents in Florida. However, the reportfound that the number of people enrolled in private insurance plansincreased from 2005 to 2006.
Florida Insurance CommissionerKevin McCarty and a panel he heads on Friday will consider whether torecommend to the state Legislature sweeping changes to reduce thenumber of uninsured residents. Recommendations could include mandatingthat college students show proof of health insurance, expanding thestate's Healthy Kidsprogram, creating a state-funded pilot program to fund insurance forlow-income families, increasing the use of limited-benefits healthinsurance plans and allowing dependents to remain on their parents'insurance up to age 30.
Members of the Legislature said theywere unsure whether they would endorse the recommendations, and aspokesperson for Gov. Charlie Crist (R) would not say whether thegovernor would endorse them. The Florida Agency for Health Care Administration also is studying the issue and plans to make recommendations (Fineout, Miami Herald, 11/1).
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