Six Floridan Insurance Companies Offer Coverage In Cover Florida Program
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).
Earlier this month, state officials delayed the announcement of which insurers would be selected to provide coverage under Cover Florida. Florida Agency for Health Care Administration spokesperson Fernando Senra said "scheduling challenges" caused the delay. The goal is to close the contracts by "mid to late" November so that the plan can be implemented by Jan. 1, 2009, AHCA Secretary Holly Benson said (Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report, 10/6).
The program will be open to all state residents ages 19 to 64 who have been uninsured for six months or more. The carriers participating in the program will offer one plan with catastrophic and inpatient coverage and one without such benefits. All plans will offer coverage for outpatient and inpatient surgery, urgent care, prescription drugs, diabetic supplies and coverage for preventive services, such as some screenings (Myers Palm, Orlando Sentinel, 10/17). Premiums will start at about $150 monthly and will not cover treatments for some conditions, including cancer and mental illness (South Florida Sun-Sentinel, 10/16). Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida and UnitedHealthcare will offer policies statewide, while JMH Health Plan, Total Health Choice and Medica Health Plans of Florida will offer coverage in Broward and Miami-Dade counties (Miami Herald, 10/17). Florida Health Care Plans will offer coverage in Volusia and Flagler counties.
The state will begin negotiating the contracts and will make information about the coverage available through state agencies and the Web site floridahealthfinder.gov (Orlando Sentinel, 10/17).
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