Archive for October 9th, 2011

Florida Hopes for Better Health Insurance Rates

Sunday, October 9th, 2011

As they are fighting the federal health exchanges mandated by the government in 2014, Florida is introducing their own slightly different version now.  Phil Galewitz’s Washington Post article, “Florida to launch its own health insurance marketplace,” points out that Florida’s version of the plan has significant differences from the federal mandates.  The main difference is that Florida’s plan is only offered to small businesses and not to individuals.  Small businesses can shop online for health insurance rates from multiple insurance companies with just one application.  Florida is the third state with such a partnership between the public and private industries.

There are two more significant differences between Florida’s exchange and the federal guidelines.  No subsidies or tax breaks will be offered to the small businesses to help them offer health insurance, while the government plan offers help to its individuals and small businesses.  There also is not a requirement for companies to offer what the government deems ‘essential health benefits’ in Florida’s exchange.  Since both insurance companies and agents have to pay to use Florida’s exchange, many argue that they don’t see any significant savings being possible.  But the Florida government begs to differ and point out many benefits with their exchange.  While individuals will still have to look for affordable insurance from plans like Go Blue Florida, small businesses will now get multiple rate quotes with one application and be able to offer up to four different plans to their employees.