Recently, a bill was signed in Florida that would help establish the creation of a low cost health insurance plan for Florida residents.
Unfortunately, amid all the fanfare, very few people stopped to take a close look at what was actually being proposed. Permit me to enlighten you on some of the more important aspects of the proposed plan.
First of all, it is not a mandated health insurance plan. In other words, an insurance carrier would have to decide if they even want to create a plan to sell. This is NOT A PLAN THAT THE STATE OF FLORIDA IS PROVIDING. Please understand that Florida is in the midst of an extreme budget crunch and is not spending a single dime on this plan. Governor Crist has made that very clear. The cooperation of the health insurance industry will be required to make this work. As of now, there are no plans available.
Second, this is not a major medical plan. If you have a medical crisis and this is your only health insurance, you are in a lot of trouble. It is a minimal plan with a few doctor visits, a physical, perhaps some generic prescription coverage (the drugs you already get in Wal-Mart for $4) and a few other benefits. Surely, none of you ever thought that you would get a complete major medical plan for $150 a month.
Next, the plan is for someone who has had no health insurance for six months. This means that in their infinite wisdom, Florida’s representatives decided that if you lose your job and cannot afford your COBRA insurance, they want you to be without any health insurance at all for at least six months. We have a real brain trust in Tallahassee don’t we.
Now, you are really going to love this. The plans are going to sell for about $150 (projected price but who knows) and give you the most minimal of benefits. But that is the cost for an individual. A family will be much more. As a matter of fact, if you have a healthy family, a traditional major medical plan with real benefits might be less expensive.
For example, at FLQUOTE a Florida Health Insurance website a 40 year old male in Pasco County can get an excellent PPO plan for about $130 a month. We are talking about a complete multi-million dollar, major medical plan. Not a minimal plan.
Who will this plan help?
I am still trying to figure that out. This is supposed to help those of you who cannot get health insurance. But, it will not pay for your expensive brand name prescriptions; it will not cover extensive hospitalization or expensive testing procedures. For those of you who think that dental coverage is part of health insurance – it is not. It will not cover any dental or vision costs.
If you are poor, you are much better off on Medicaid. If you are medically qualified, you will get far more coverage for your money with a traditional health insurance plan.
Have politicians created a created a, half-way measure to pander to the voters? Is it “better than nothing”? If you are paying $1,800 a year for a few office visits, you have to wonder if it is even worth it.
If you are holding your breath for government sponsored health insurance, chances are you will turn blue and collapse first.
You do have alternatives. There are decent low cost plans available to Florida residents. There are also guaranteed issue plans with no medical questions that are similar to the plans being proposed. You can find guaranteed issue health insurance plans online.
Clearly, it will be interesting to see if this new proposal yields any positive change or does it become an exercise in futility.
If you are interested in learning more about low cost health insurance in Florida, you can go to Affordable Florida Health Insurance Plans. To find out more about health insurance plans that have no medical requirements, go to Guaranteed Issue Health Insurance.