Florida Health Choices

Pharmacy Discount Cards: Do They Help Or Hurt?

May 24, 2016
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  As health insurance plans change and prescription drug costs rise, some Floridians are looking to cut costs. One option is a prescription discount card. They work as coupons offering a reduction in the actual cost of prescriptions.

Florida Health Choices is now serving as the private health insurance system for the state's 140,000 realtors.
Florida Health Choices

Florida’s state-based insurance exchange is gearing up for open enrollment later this year. Florida Health Choices is reaching out to professionals licensed by the state, as well as realtors, to grow its numbers.

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Update 4/2/2015: The federal government has delayed talks on an extension of a $2 billion healthcare program. Low-Income Pool funding, along with a plan to expand Medicaid--are key features in the Senate's 2015-2016 spending proposal and lawmakers say the move may delay negotiations between the House and Senate. Read more here.

Florida Health Choices

Florida's small-business marketplace is in for major changes under the Senate's Medicaid expansion proposal. After a slow start getting up and running, Florida Health Choices could see its customer base grow exponentially under the Senate's plan.

Last week Senate leaders opened the door to using federal funds to support more than 800,000 uninsured Floridians. Now lawmakers in the chamber have a plan. But it’s not quite what some proponents of a Medicaid expansion, expected.

The Florida Health Choices marketplace, first established as a mandate-free health care marketplace, is poised to start selling plans that are compliant with the Affordable Care Act, Christine Jordan Sexton of SaintPetersBlog reports. Florida Health Choices CEO Rose Naff has asked federal health officials to help establish a means to allow shoppers who qualify for federal tax credits offered through the federal exchange to buy on the Florida site.

myfloridachoice.org

Florida’s health insurance marketplace debuted earlier this year but so far, less than forty people have signed up. Now the board that runs the program is looking to attract health insurance providers, and to do that, it’s turning to a new company to help it expand its services.

Quietly and without much fanfare, Florida’s health insurance marketplace made its debut earlier this week, but it should not to be confused with the federal health insurance exchanges and Obamacare.

“We’re not in competition with the federal exchange. We’re not offering subsidies—those can only come from the federal exchange," says Florida Health Choices Director Rose Naff, who  is quick to point out the differences between the program she’s running—and that of the federal government.

myfloridachoice.org

As federal insurance exchanges prepare to go live in a matter of weeks, Florida’s own state-based insurance marketplace is still trying to get off the ground.

Florida Health Choices was designed to cater to small businesses and others who won’t have access to the federal exchanges and its CEO, Rose Naff, says that’s where her program comes in:

Florida lawmakers continue to weigh whether to implement optional parts of the federal healthcare overhaul law. That includes the questions of if, when and how to set up an online website where people can shop and compare insurance plans. Many have suggested converting some of the state’s existing programs.

"It really makes no sense to compete with a subsidized insurance offering,” says Florida Health Choices CEO Rose Naff. 

Florida legislative leaders have sent letters to the federal government saying they can’t make a decision on health insurance exchanges right now. Lynn Hatter reports the state had until Friday to inform the feds of whether it would set up its own healthcare marketplace, or leave it up to the government. The Obama Administration now says the deadline has been pushed out to December.

Florida’s online health insurance market place is now accepting healthcare plans. Florida Health Choices says it’s on-track to open for business by the start of the new year and could begin selling plans sooner than that.

Florida’s insurance website for small businesses is switching contractors. Florida Health Choices was supposed to be up and running last summer but that date has been pushed back to January. part of the delay is due to a clash with the former company that was supposed to be building the website.