News & Updates


State Health Insurance Plan Off to Slow Start

Published: Friday, January 8, 2010 at 11:58 p.m.
Last Modified: Friday, January 8, 2010 at 11:58 p.m.

A state health insurance project boosted by Gov. Charlie Crist got off to a slow start in its first year, but the governor isn’t giving up on it.

Only 5,246 of an estimated 3.8 million eligible citizens ó roughly one in 700 ó have enrolled in the program, dubbed ‘Cover Florida,’ that went into effect in January 2009 as a low-cost avenue for uninsured Floridians to buy health insurance.

It was created by the 2008 Legislature without any infusion of tax dollars and promoted heavily by Crist, but perhaps not heavily enough.

That may change this spring.

‘Cover Florida is not receiving state funds to promote the plans, an idea that he may look at in the upcoming legislative session,’ the governor’s press secretary, Sterling Ivey, said Friday.

To qualify, an individual must be between the ages of 19 and 64, been laid off from their job or not had health insurance for six months.

Rising costs are another concern for those insurers participating in the program. State insurance regulators just this week rejected a request from Blue Cross & Blue Shield for increasing premiums.