Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Few Floridians sign up for low-cost health care

"Gov. Charlie Crist and the state legislature thought they had found a solution to these problems when they created Cover Florida, a low-cost, unsubsidized health insurance for adults. When Cover Florida took effect in January, Crist said it could extend coverage to nearly 4 million of the state's uninsured."

"Yet three months into the program, less than 1,500 people have enrolled statewide."

"It's disappointing to me," Crist said Monday during a press conference at a medical clinic in Hialeah."

"It's certainly easy to qualify for the insurance - you need to be between the ages of 19 and 64, have been laid off from your job or have not had health insurance for six months. Those with pre-existing health conditions will not be denied enrollment to Cover Florida, but plans can exclude payment for treatment of certain pre-existing conditions for one year."

"The average monthly premium for the program is $155. Some policies cover only the basics such as office visits, screenings, emergency room care and prescription drugs. Others will offer hospitalization and catastrophic coverage, but they cost more; children and seniors are not covered because there are other state plans available to them. Premiums vary according to age, gender, geography and options, such as deductibles, that consumers can choose."

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