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Florida Health Insurance
Shopping for health insurance in the state of Florida might seem like a daunting task. Thankfully, there are many options open to Floridians who are uninsured or underinsured. Whether you're healthy or not, this page can provide you with valuable information for obtaining health coverage. Read on to learn about the difference between group and individual coverage, and COBRA. If you're healthy enough to obtain coverage on the individual market or if you have a small business and qualify for small group, Health Plan One can help. If not, review the information on this page about Florida Medicaid, Kidcare, Cover Florida, and the Discount Drug Program. All of these government programs can help those who are medically uninsurable or who cannot afford private coverage obtain basic health coverage.
What Every Floridian Should Know About Health Insurance
The type of health insurance familiar to most consumers is group coverage offered by an employer. With group health insurance through your employer the policy is partially paid for by the company on behalf of their employees. The company will contribute a large percentage toward the monthly premium and you (the employee) will be responsible for paying the difference, about 16-27%. With group plans you have little choice in the specific benefits of the plan (these are determined by negotiations between the company and the insurance carrier) but you also cannot be denied coverage under the group plan no matter what prescriptions you may take or preexisting conditions you may have. By insuring a large group of employees together under one plan of the company's choosing, individual employees are not medically underwritten, rather the entire group is underwritten as a whole to determine the premium level everyone will pay. Therefore, the amount you pay in premiums as well as the quality of the coverage you receive are dependent not on how healthy you are or what benefits you would like to have, but how healthy your group is as a whole and what benefits the company has chosen for you.
Unfortunately, companies frequently have a waiting period before new employees can qualify to receive health insurance benefits. If this is the case with your new job, consider getting a short-term policy from the point where your previous coverage ends to the time when your new company's insurance kicks in. Such options are available through Health Plan One. Simply visit our Short-Term information page for your free quotes.It is important not to have a lapse in coverage of more than 63 days. If you do, your new insurance carrier may refuse to cover treatment for pre-existing conditions you may have such as asthma or acne for up to a year after your policy goes into effect. For this reason, having continuous health insurance coverage is particularly important.
What If I'm Between Jobs?
As previously mentioned, it is important not to have a break in coverage of more than 63 days. As a result, if you've recently lost your job look into extending the coverage you had with your employer through COBRA. With the COBRA program through the federal government you can extend your plan for up to 18 months after losing your job. You will however have to pick up the entire premium cost which your employer had previously been paying. For this reason, it is frequently more economical for people who've lost their jobs to invest in an individual/family insurance policy through Health Plan One.
With individual coverage you choose the health insurance carrier and benefits you want with the help of Health Plan One. We will quote plans for you and your family from all the different carriers available in Florida so that you can choose from a wide price range and spectrum of options to tailor a plan that fits your needs. Even if you are not between jobs, a plan on the individual market through Health Plan One could still be the best option for your family. Many companies do not offer benefits to their employees, and often those companies that do offer benefits do so at an exorbitant cost for low quality plans. It is important to note that with individual coverage in Florida each person who applies is medically underwritten and may be approved, denied, or rated-up by the carrier depending on their health history in recent months.
If you're healthy and are unhappy with the health insurance offered by your employer, are between jobs, or are not offered benefits by your company, enter your zip code into the Health Plan One quoting engine at the top of this page to view the most competitively priced plans in your area with benefits tailored to your needs. Quotes are absolutely free, and you're under no obligation to buy. Our licensed insurance specialists are also available via LiveChat (see the button to the right) or toll-free at (877) 567-5267 to answer any questions.
Small Group Plans
If you are self-employed, you could apply for a small group plan for your company. You must have 2 or more eligible employees who each work full-time, at least 25 hours per week. Small group plans are medically underwritten by all carriers in Florida. There are no requirements for the length of time you've been in business, but you must show proof of earning taxable income. Once a year Florida offers single person group plans for an October 1st effective date for sole proprietors. Businesses with only one eligible employee are allowed to enroll in a carrier's small group health plans only during the established sole proprietor open enrollment period from April 1st to October 1st of each year. All carriers do medical underwriting on their small groups. This means that though no one in the group can be denied coverage, the carrier can increase the rates based on the health history of employees enrolling.
Health Plan One can help you by quoting plans for both sole proprietors and small groups. Simply call us toll-free (877) 567-5267.
If you're not healthy there are still many programs available to you. See below for details on the options which best fit your medical and financial situation.
To view small business group plans in Florida, visit our Florida Small Business Group page.
Medicaid works in practice much like having regular health insurance; if you qualify you'll receive a Medicaid card which you can present at your doctor's office. If your doctor participates in Medicaid, the state will pay the bill for the appointment minus any other health insurance you may have. The program pays for many medical services including in- and outpatient hospital care, laboratory services, nursing home care, home health care, transportation necessary to receive medical care (ambulance rides), and other services. Medicaid (also known as Title XIX of the Social Security Act) can be used to pay for health care services if your family income is below a certain specified ceiling, disabled or legally blind, 65 years or older, under 21 years of age, or pregnant. For further information on Florida Medicaid, click here: http://mymedicaid-florida.com/For information on Medicaid programs which target pregnant women and other such special groups, click here: http://www.dcf.state.fl.us/ess/medicaid.shtml
Click here for information on Florida Medicare Advantage plans.
Florida Healthy Kids Program (Kidcare)
This program was created to help improve access to comprehensive health insurance for Florida's uninsured children. The program serves as a source of funds by collecting local, state, federal, and family money to pay premiums to commercial health insurers who underwrite the risk associated with the policies. Families who would otherwise be unable to afford the desired coverage can obtain it while paying only a fraction of the premium. Coverage can insure services ranging from preventive care to major surgery. Healthy Kids and Kidcare have open enrollment year-round. Coverage begins after the child's eligibility has been determined and the first month's premium has been received, if required. You can apply online atwww.healthykids.org or call them toll free at 1-888-540-5437.
To learn more about the Child Health Check-Up and MediKids options available through the Kidcare program, click here:http://www.floridahealthfinder.gov/medicaid/florida-medicaid-additional.shtml#medikids
Cover Florida plans are available to applicants age 19 to 64 who have gone without health insurance for at least 6 months and who are not eligible for any public insurance programs like Medicare or Medicaid. There are some exceptions to the 6 month exclusion rule, so even if you do not meet this requirement, but would otherwise qualify, look into the exceptions available here:http://www.coverfloridahealthcare.com/ Thankfully, applicants with pre-existing conditions will not be denied from a Cover Florida plan. However, the plans may exclude payment for treatment of a specific pre-existing condition for one year. After that time, the plan must cover treatment of the condition. Each plan offers some type of prescription drug coverage or assistance. For full plan details as well as sample plans, visit the above link.
Florida Discount Drug Card Program
This program is designed to lower the cost of prescription drugs for Florida residents who are:
- 1. Over 60 and without prescription drug coverage or who fall into the Medicare prescription drug coverage gap, or
- 2. Under 60 without prescription drug coverage and with an annual family income of less than 300% FPL.
The card may be used to get a discount on virtually all drugs at thousands of participating pharmacies. For more information on the program visit their website at >http://www.floridadiscountdrugcard.com/
HIPAA Plans - Florida's High Risk Pool Alternative
For information on HIPAA plans available in Florida to those residents who are for medical reasons uninsurable on the private market, check out our HIPAA Insurance page.