health plans

Medicaid Health Plans Get Good Grades

Oct 31, 2019

Most people enrolled in Florida’s Medicaid managed-care program give their health plans high grades, according to the state Agency for Health Care Administration. 

Splitting Up Florida's Medicaid Patients Could Spark Debate

Oct 28, 2019
Patient in discussion with doctor at a desk.
Daylina Miller/WUSF

An algorithm that dictates assignment of many Medicaid patients to health plans could cause another high-stakes tussle among plans that have received an estimated $90 billion worth of contracts to manage care in Florida’s Medicaid program. 

2 Moves By Trump This Past Week Could Reshape U.S. Health Insurance In Big Ways

Oct 27, 2018

In a span of less than 24 hours this past week, the Trump administration took two seemingly contradictory actions that could have profound effects on the insurance marketplaces set up by the Affordable Care Act.

Health analysts say that at least one of the efforts, coupled with previous changes initiated by the administration, could help transform the insurance market to be much more like it was before the 2010 federal health law took effect — when regulation, coverage and consumer protections varied widely across the United States.

healthcare.gov

The Trump administration is clearing the way for insurers to sell short-term health plans as a bargain alternative to pricey Obama-law policies for people struggling with high premiums.

Nearly 2.5M In FL, 36 Other States Pick Plans on HealthCare.gov

Dec 17, 2014

More than 1 million people selected a health plan during the fourth week of the health law’s open enrollment and nearly 2.5 million have done so since it began Nov. 15, federal officials said Tuesday.

“And this was before an extremely busy weekend,” said Andy Slavitt, principal deputy administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, which oversees the federal online marketplace used by 37 states.

Tuesday’s report did not include enrollment for the final three days before the Dec. 15 deadline for people to enroll if they want coverage to begin Jan. 1.

Got Insurance? You Still May Pay A Steep Price For Prescriptions

Oct 13, 2014

Sandra Grooms recently got a call from her oncologist’s office. The chemotherapy drugs he wanted to use on her metastatic breast cancer were covered by her health plan, with one catch: Her share of the cost would be $976 for each 14-day supply of the two pills.

“I said, ‘I can’t afford it,’” said Grooms, 52, who is insured through her job as a general manager at a janitorial supply company in Augusta, Ga. “I was very upset.”

Insurers can no longer reject customers with expensive medical conditions thanks to the health care overhaul. But consumer advocates warn that companies are still using wiggle room to discourage the sickest — and costliest — patients from enrolling.

Some insurers are excluding well-known cancer centers from the list of providers they cover under a plan; requiring patients to make large, initial payments for HIV medications; or delaying participation in public insurance exchanges created by the overhaul.

It May Not Be Too Late to Enroll

Apr 2, 2014
Carol Gentry / WUSF

Enrollment in health insurance plans is continuing, and navigators in Florida are still working to help people pick plans.

Jodi Ray, who directs the USF grant program that contracts with navigator groups, said the contracts haven't expired so the navigators are still available at the same places they were before -- some community centers, health clinics, and so on.

(Go to this page and click on "find local help." You can type in your zip code and get a list.)

(UPDATE) Florida Blue, the newly adopted brand for the former Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida, is canceling 80 percent of its current individual policies because they don't jibe with the requirements under the Affordable Care Act that go into effect Jan. 1. The number affected is estimated to be 300,000.

The Obama administration said Wednesday that it is moving ahead with a rule that would requiring health plans to accommodate households that don't have traditional bank accounts.

One in four of the uninsured people eligible for federal insurance subsidies doesn't have a bank account, according to a report released earlier this year by the tax preparation firm Jackson Hewitt. The report dubbed people without connections to traditional financial institutions the "unbanked."