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Feds offer olive branch on benefits for health insurance


The federal government will allow states to decide what health benefits to include in insurance plans offered under the federal healthcare overhaul law. The issue of what benefits to offer has been part of the criticism of the Federal Affordable Care Act. But as Lynn Hatter reports, now that the decision has been left to states, will Florida take up the offer?

The Florida agency that would decide what those benefits would be is the Office of Insurance Regulation. In a statement, the office said it's monitoring the development, but is not currently in the process of implementing the Affordable Care Act.

Florida's continual refusal to implement the law has some healthcare advocacy groups like Florida CHAIN, suggesting the federal government may end up setting coverage limits for the state.

Florida is leading a lawsuit against the federal healthcare law and has, for the past two years, refused to implement it. On December 16, the Obama administration announced its intention to let states determine their own "essential benefits" rather than setting a national standard. 

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Lynn Hatter is a Florida A&M University graduate with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. Lynn has served as reporter/producer for WFSU since 2007 with education and health care issues as her key coverage areas.  She is an award-winning member of the Capital Press Corps and has participated in the NPR Kaiser Health News Reporting Partnership and NPR Education Initiative. 

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