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An effort to expand direct primary care sailed through its first committee meeting Tuesday in the Florida statehouse. The healthcare model allows patients to pay doctors monthly fees in exchange for basic services. Proponents say the system cuts out insurers, and lowers costs and wait times. David McKalip represents the Florida Chapter of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons.

healthcare.gov

Open enrollment for Obamacare ups begins next month, and state and federal officials are hoping for more young, healthy enrollees. That demographic has been slow to sign up, leading to increasing concerns that the Affordable Care Act, may soon become un-affordable. But health policy experts say tales of the death of the ACA are greatly exaggerated.

The Florida Retail Federation has launched a private health insurance exchange for its members. The exchange allows businesses to shop for group coverage plans and lets employees sign up.

Florida Healthy Kids

When it comes to children getting insurance, there’s good news and bad news. The good news: the number of uninsured children in Florida has dropped—as it has across the county. The bad news: Florida remains near the top of states with the number of kids who don’t have health insurance.

Capital Report: 08-08-2014

Aug 8, 2014

Florida offers public funds to help state-wide candidates pay for their campaigns and Regan McCarthy reports while some have chosen to accept that money others have turned it down citing either personal qualms or a desire to raise more than the public funding caps would allow.

Florida insurance officials expect the cost of health insurance plans sold on a federal exchange to increase by an average of 13-percent next year. But not everyone agrees price hikes will be that steep.  As Lynn Hatter reports, critics are questioning the state’s methods for calculating the increases.

LHatter / WFSU News

Florida insurance officials expect the cost of health insurance plans sold on a federal exchange to increase by an average of 13 percent next year. But not everyone agrees price hikes will be that steep and critics are questioning the state’s methods for calculating the increases.

The state’s estimated 13.2 percent health insurance rate increase is receiving pushback from Affordable Care Act advocates, who say it’s another example of the state’s resistance to the federal health law.

LHatter / WFSU News

Floridians who purchased federally-subsidized health insurance plans as part of the Affordable Care Act could see their rates increase about 13 percent next year in the individual market.

The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation has released rate information on all 14 companies planning to sell health insurance through the federal exchanges, including three new carriers.  Of the 11 returning plans, most filed rate increases ranging from 11 to 23 percent. Aetna, Molina and Sunshine State Health plan decreased their rates.

Capital Report: 03-20-2014

Mar 20, 2014

While the so-called Warning Shot bill was being teed up for a vote in the Senate, a couple of gun-related measures made it through the full House today. But, as Sascha Cordner reports, verbal shots were exchanged between lawmakers before a revived attempt to repeal Florida’s Stand Your Ground law once again went down to defeat.

Florida lawmakers tinkering with the state employee health insurance program are poised to revamp the entire system. If the proposal is okayed by the legislature, it’s uncertain whether state workers would see their insurance costs go up or down.

Representative Jason Brodeur (R-Sanford) says the state health insurance program is outdated and doesn’t give employees what they want. Brodeur says workers who have chosen the state’s HMO plan get more benefits, yet pay the same rates as those on the state’s PPO plans, which have fewer.

Capital Report: 11-01-2013

Nov 1, 2013

For many uninsured Floridians, the federal government’s online marketplace offers an opportunity to obtain health insurance—the cost of which will be heavily subsidized. But glitches in the site have made signing up a challenge, and an increasing number of people are turning to local resources for help. But as Lynn Hatter reports, in North Florida, that help is proving hard to find.

Jessica Palombo / WFSU-FM

A week after both houses of the Florida Legislature rejected the expansion of Medicaid under the federal health care law, Democratic leaders in the Florida House are speaking out. House Democrats are saying more Floridians need insurance coverage as soon as possible, one way or another.

It’s a common refrain from Florida Democrats about the state’s lack of implementation of the federal Affordable Care Act. House Minority Leader Perry Thurston talked to reporters on Thursday.

Florida lawmakers are weighing whether to add more than 8,000 additional employees to the state’s health insurance rolls. As one of the largest employers, the state of Florida is subject to many of the fines outlined in the federal healthcare law, and it wants to avoid those penalties, while also trying to hold down healthcare costs.

Florida lawmakers say the Federal Affordable Care Act, stands to have a big impact on businesses and jobs in the state. Some businesses could choose to pay a fine instead of giving their employees health coverage. Others might decide to reduce employee hours to get around the requirement. That’s a concern Representative Travis Cummings, a Republican from Orange Park raised during a Wednesday hearing.

While the U.S. Supreme Court has upheld the federal healthcare overhaul law, the fight over it is far from over. Many questions about President Barack Obama’s signature legislation remain—like who will be covered under the Affordable Care Act? Who will have to buy insurance, and, will it bring down costs?  The results may be just as complex as the law itself.

About 70 percent of small businesses in the U.S. are  eligible for healthcare tax credits under the federal Affordable Care Act.

That’s according to the healthcare consumer advocacy group, Families USA The group released a report Wednesday showing more than 300,000 thousand small businesses in Florida would qualify for the minimum credit- which is about a third of the cost of providing healthcare to employees.

Several health insurance companies will owe Floridians nearly $149 million in rebates this summer for failing to meet profit caps outlined in the federal health care overhaul. Lynn Hatter reports an analysis done by the non-partisan Kaiser Family Foundation found that the nationwide rebate total is $1.3 billion.

More than two million Florida children are now enrolled in the state’s health insurance program for low income kids. Regan McCarthy reports the organization hit a record number of participants in March.

Florida Healthy Kids Executive Director Rich Robleto says the increased number of kids getting enrolled in the state’s Kidcare program is a good thing.