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House pitches ‘Health Choices Plus’ alternative to Medicaid expansion, rejects federal aid

As expected, the Florida House will unveil a new insurance program today for low-income Floridians that allows them to select bare-bones coverage options on a state-based health exchange. The setup is similar to the plan pitched by Sen. Aaron Bean, but on a larger scale.

“Bean Plan Plus” is what the architect of the House plan, Rep. Richard Corcoran, R-Land O' Lakes, calls it.

The House plan is limited to disabled adults and parents, allowing them to purchase insurance using a state-based health marketplace with a rocky history. Most of the plans would provide low-cost preventative and primary care visits, subsidized by state funds.

Among the highlights of Health Choices Plus:

  • -The state would give each participant $2,000 each year to help them purchase coverage options
  • -Enrollees would also pay $25 a month in premiums
  • -Adults without disabilities will be required to work at least 20 hours a week

According to the proposed bill and an explainer booklet, which the Times/Herald has obtained exclusively, the cost to state would rise to $266 million as the program grows to 130,000 participants over the next 10 years. For the upcoming fiscal year, the estimated cost is $14 million because the program isn’t slated to launch until April.

Because not all low-income Floridians are eligible under the House plan and because it doesn’t adhere to federal Medicaid standards, the state would not be eligible for roughly $55 billion in federal dollars. Bean’s plan also isn’t eligible for federal funds.

A separate proposal by Sen. Joe Negron would qualify for federal dollars. The Senate has held off on debating either of its proposals, choosing to wait for the House to release its plan. On Monday, the House committee studying the health care law will take up Corcoran’s proposal as a proposed committee bill.

Both the Corcoran and Bean plans expand the mission of Florida Health Choices, the state’s insurance exchange that pre-dates the federal health care law. Right now, only small businesses can sign up for insurance through Health Choices.

The House plan would cover about 16 percent of uninsured, low-income Floridians. Another 31 percent would be eligible to purchased subsidized insurance on federal health exchanges.

The House has created a nearly 50-page presentation that not only details its proposal but why the House is rejecting the federal money.

Read the House proposal here.


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No More Rick Scott

"A series of New York Times articles, beginning in 1996, began scrutinizing Columbia/HCA's business and Medicare billing practices. These culminated in the company being raided in July 1997 by Federal agents searching for documents. Among the crimes uncovered were doctors being offered financial incentives to bring in patients, falsifying diagnostic codes to increase reimbursements from Medicare and other government programs, and billing the government for unnecessary lab tests.Following the raids, the Columbia/HCA board of directors forced Scott to resign as Chairman and CEO. He was paid $9.88 million in a settlement. He also left owning 10 million shares of stock worth over $350 million, mostly from his initial investment In 1999, Columbia/HCA changed its name back to HCA, Inc.”


both the florida house and senate should be made to enroll into the new plans they're proposing. Right now they both are "entitled" to the executive health insurance plan paid for by Florida taxpayers to the tune of premiums of $8 per month. How does that fit in with reality in today's marketplace? that's right - it doesn't so let them put in some skin too.


'Bean Plan Plus' - how catchy. I see dry, broken, rodent gnawed, rotten pieces of inedible garbage. The coverage is so minimal as to be useless. It won't cost $266 million because no one will waste their time and money signing up. Look at the track record of the existing plan this is modeled on.


Immd, this plan is for the low-income poverty level people. Legislators are rich by those standards and don't need this plan.


They should call it 'CorcoranDoesNotCare.'


Brilliant. So people from Flordia pay the feds income taxes through the nose, so other states get the money.

health care advocate

The Florida House leadership seems to live in 1913, a time when medical knowledge was such that a doctor could do only simple things like setting a broken bone or simple surgery, and as a result, being able to see a doctor was not a life or death thing as it is now. And because cost was not that outrageous, charity was often a solution.

In 2013 doctors can do wonders, and being able to get medical care can be the difference between living and dying, as I have experienced as a leukemia patient. But as a result their services – and some life saving medications – are so expensive that insurance is necessary for the average person to afford it.

Many lower paying jobs offer no, or wildly insufficient insurance to cover serious illness. Nevertheless, the House leadership seems hell bent to prevent that a single, working adult would get health insurance. What are they thinking?

They think that ‘able-bodied adults’ do not need health care (actually they are living in fantasy land where these people would get sufficient health care coverage via their job). The use of that old fashioned term ‘able-bodied adult’, excluding everyone who has a chronic disease but is not disabled, reveals all of their simplistic thinking.

Apparently, the house leadership thinks that single, working, low income people do not need health care. Cruel, irresponsible behavior, in my opinion, and that is a kind way to put it.

Thomas Ward

House pitches 'Health Choices Plus' alternative to Medicaid expansion, rejects federal aid.

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