Members of the Florida Senate voted 23-14 Thursday to pass Senate Bill 322, package of three pieces of health insurance legislation.
The package could set standards for health insurance in Florida if Congress, or the courts, kill the current Affordable Care Act coverage standards.
The original text of S.B. 322 would let a health insurer or health maintenance organization offer major medical policies that exclude or limit coverage for preexisting medical conditions, as long as the carriers also actively marketed policies without such restrictions. That section of S.B. 322 would not set any limits on the difference between the cost of the policies with preexisting condition coverage restrictions and the cost of policies without such restrictions.
This week, senators added the text of two other state Senate health bills to S.B. 322 through amendments.
One amendment added provisions from S.B. 418. That bill would set state essential health benefits (EHB) package rules, to replace the current ACA benefits package standards.
Another amendment added provisions from S.B. 1422. Those provisions coming from S.B. 1422 would help insurers in Florida use new Trump administration regulations to offer association health plans, and to offer short-term health insurance policies that, with renewals, can stay in place for up to 36 months.
The sponsors of the provisions in the package have said that they hope to lower health insurance premiums.
For 2019, premium hikes for individual ACA-compliant plans averaged 5.2%, according to an analysis of S.B. 418, the source of the health benefits package section of S.B. 322,
Details to Come Later
The three-bill S.B. 322 package is only 17 pages long.
The EHB section, for example, gives few details about how the new EHB packages might compare with the state’s current EHB package.