You may or may not have heard already that there is an alternative option for discounted health coverage outside of the plans offered under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Four companies intend to offer 15 to 20 discounted plans, which will include health and dental coverage options.
Once the website is launched, residents should be able to shop for coverage and plans not mandated under the ACA. Some examples of plans not mandated under the ACA would be dental coverage or clinic discount cards. In mid-February, the CEO for the state exchange, Rose Naff, announced a delay to the launch of the website. Naff conveyed that they were conducting more robust testing to perfect the user experience, and hoped to launch in about two weeks (or around the beginning of March).
It’s also important to note that plans under Florida Health Choices will not offer tax credits, which is another way these plans will differ from coverage under the federal exchange. Inevitably, there will be a niche group of residents who don’t qualify for Medicaid or tax credits under the ACA, but will still need coverage. Officials of the Florida Health Choices exchange hope to fill this gap in addition to offering an alternative to the federal plans.
When the initial rollout of the website, www.FloridaHealthChoices.org, does happen, it will be for individual consumers. The rollout offering options for small businesses will happen sometime after the initial launch.
Nelson Kirkland, Publisher