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Florida Launches Health Access Program

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Sunshine State officials have introduced a program that will make basic individual health insurance products available to uninsured residents and unemployed residents throughout the state.

The Florida Agency for Health Care Administration and the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation have launched the Cover Florida Health Care Access Program.

The program will be open on a guaranteed-issue basis to Florida residents ages 19 to 64 who recently have lost their jobs or who have been without health insurance for at least 6 months, state officials say.

The carriers offering Cover Florida products throughout the state are Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida, Jacksonville, Fla., and a unit of UnitedHealth Group Inc., Minnetonka, Minn.

Several other carriers will offer Cover Florida products on a regional basis.

Some carriers will insure only eligible adult applicants, and some will insure adult applicants’ children as well as the adult applicants, officials say.

Employers can help employees pay for the policies through a payroll deduction system, officials say.

The cost of program coverage will depend on the applicant’s age, gender and choice of preventive coverage or catastrophic and hospital coverage.

One statewide product that emphasizes preventive coverage will cost $83.55 per month for a 25-year-old female and $50.75 per month for a 25-year-old male, officials say.

Benefits would include up to 45 doctor office visits with a $10 co-pay, a $0 co-pay for preventive services, and 80% coverage for up to $1,500 in emergency room services per year.

That product also would offer access to diabetic supplies with a $25 co-payment and up to 5 behavioral health visits per year with a $40 co-payment.


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