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Sunshine State Lawmakers OK Limited-Benefit Plan Bill

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Members of the Florida Senate voted 39-0 today to pass S. 2534, a bill that would let a state agency negotiate with carriers to provide 2 low-cost health coverage options.

One Cover Florida Health Care Access Program would be a limited-benefit plan that would cover preventive care, health screenings, routine care by physicians, behavioral health care and supplies for people with diabetes.

The other class of plans would provide catastrophic coverage, including coverage for inpatient hospital stays, hospital emergency care and urgent care services.

The bill was introduced by state Sen. Durrell Peaden, R-Crestview, Fla., and is backed by Florida Gov. Charles Crist, R.

Bill advocates say they hope insurers could over the Cover Florida plans for $150 or less per person per month.

Another bill provision would permit parents to carry adult children as dependents until the children are 30.

The bill includes no individual or employer mandates.

Florida Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty has welcomed passage of the plan.

“I applaud the Florida Senate for today taking a positive step toward providing access to affordable health insurance to the more than 3 million Floridians who currently do not have coverage,” McCarty says in a statement. “The unanimous approval that this bill received is a clear indication of its importance to all Florida consumers.”


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