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Brevard Votes To Keep Health First Plans

Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.
The Florida Channel
Brevard County Commissioners voted to keep Health First Health Plans as one option for insurance today.

Brevard County government employees will still be able to get Health First Health Plans insurance. Today’s vote by county commissioners ends a controversy that’s been brewing since January.

With a unanimous vote and little fanfare, Brevard County Commissioners decided to keep getting health insurance from both Cigna and Health First Health Plans.

The contract had caused a stir, with the CEO of Parrish Medical Center asking the board not to approve the contract with Health First. Parrish, a competitor, pointed to ongoing antitrust lawsuits with the Health First, a hospital system which also owns the health plan.

The decision impacts about 8,700 government employees and their dependents. Brevard County is expected to spend $56 million on health insurance next year.

Health First vice president of communications Matthew Gerrell thanked commissioners in a statement.

“Health First Health Plans would like to thank the Brevard County Commissioners and the Employee Benefits Advisory Committee for again placing their trust in Health First and for giving us the opportunity to continue to serve the health and wellness needs of Brevard County employees,” Gerrell wrote. “Health First is proud to work alongside those who share our vision to improve the health and well-being of our community.”

Now, the work will begin on what next year’s premiums and co-pays will be.------

WMFE is a partner withHealth News Florida, which receives support from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

Health News Florida reporter Abe Aboraya works for WMFE in Orlando. He started writing for newspapers in high school. After graduating from the University of Central Florida in 2007, he spent a year traveling and working as a freelance reporter for the Seattle Times and the Seattle Weekly, and working for local news websites in the San Francisco Bay area. Most recently Abe worked as a reporter for the Orlando Business Journal. He comes from a family of health care workers.