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Health News Florida

State Workers May Not See Health Insurance Changes

picture of medical insurance claim form
Senate President Bill Galvano said Tuesday he is reluctant to move ahead with changes to the state-employee health insurance program during the upcoming 2020 legislative session.

Senate President Bill Galvano said Tuesday he is reluctant to move ahead with changes to the state-employee health insurance program during the upcoming 2020 legislative session.

“I don’t foresee major modifications going into this session,’ Galvano, R-Bradenton said Tuesday. Florida was supposed to have started a major remodel of the program under a 2017 law.

That law required the Department of Management Services to begin offering employees a choice of four different health plans that varied in benefits and costs.

While the state would contribute the same amounts of money for the employees regardless of the plan, the law authorized employees who enroll in less expensive plans to pocket savings.

But the changes were put on hold following a critical report about the proposed redesign. In a proposed fiscal 2020-2021 budget unveiled last month, Gov. Ron DeSantis recommended once again delaying any changes to benefit plans for employees.

The program provides benefits to more than 366,000 state employees and family members across Florida. State economists in August estimated that the health insurance benefits would cost slightly more than $3 billion in the 2020-2021 fiscal year, which will start July 1.

The costs are expected to total $3.2 billion the following year and reach as much as $3.53 billion in fiscal year 2022-2023, economists agreed. The 2020 legislative session will start Jan. 14.