What are my Florida Health Insurance options?
You have different options to consider when it comes to Florida Health Insurance. ACA health plans are only available during the Florida open enrollment period beginning November 1st and ending December 15th, or if you have a qualifying event for a special enrollment period. If neither of those circumstances are applicable to you and you need healthcare coverage now, Florida has additional options in the form of short term health insurance plans that are available for business, individuals, and families ranging from low cost with basic benefits, to benefit rich high cost plans.
You can get free Florida short term health insurance quotes at AgileHealthInsurance.com. If you’re unfamiliar with short term health insurance (STM), please take a couple moments to review the video below.
However, before committing, it’s very important to have a strong understanding of what STM plans will and will not cover.
They are a temporary way to bridge the uninsured gap until you can obtain ACA coverage. ACA coverage can be obtained in the next open enrollment period or from an employer.
Temporary short term health insurance is a basic and limited form of health insurance that covers unforeseen accidents and illnesses and helps provide a layer of financial protection.
More Comprehensive = More Expensive
The Florida health insurance plans that comply with the Affordable Care Act (ACA) have become increasingly more expensive every year since ACA plans were first introduced because the coverage must include services for maternity benefits, mental health parity, and pre-existing conditions, to name a few.
The Milliman Medical Index found that the average cost of health insurance for a family of four is over $28,000!
Less Comprehensive = Less Expensive
Florida short term health insurance plans are primarily intended to provide coverage for:
Accidents and Illnesses
Getting coverage outside of open enrollment
For many people, short term health insurance is a great way to have temporary affordable protection.
However, depending on your situation, choosing the lowest cost option may not be right for you. This is because with lower premiums come less benefits.
One of the biggest distinctions with Florida short term health plans is that they don’t cover certain medical expenses. These include pre-existing conditions, maternity, and comprehensive mental health services. Prescription drugs are also not typically covered by most STM plans. Because these are not factored into the plan, the premium prices end up being lower cost.
More Options = More Ways to Save Money
When you buy a Florida health insurance plan online you have many options from a variety of healthcare providers. There is no one size fits all solution because business, individuals, and families have different needs and circumstances.
You can raise the levels on your deductible, coinsurance, and copay depending on how much you can afford. For cheaper monthly payments, you can choose a plan with a higher priced deductible. The tradeoff is that you’ll pay more out of pocket on medical expenses before receiving any benefits from the plan.
In order to offset some of the out of pocket costs associated with using a Florida major medical policy, you can look into Health Benefit Plans that offer cash reimbursement for covered medical events.
More Healthy = Less Expensive
When shopping for a Florida short term health insurance plan, there is an underwriting process you go through. During this process you are asked about your medical history. This is to assess your current health situation, which will help determine if you qualify for a plan.
Pre-Existing Conditions: Exclusions and Exceptions
In a typical STM plan, medical expenses related to pre-existing conditions would not be covered. This does not apply for new conditions that develop while you have an STM plan. These would be covered for the length of the term. With most short term plans, when you apply for a new Florida health insurance policy, during the underwriting process it would be determined that the new conditions would no longer be covered (because they have now gone from “new” to “pre-existing”). This is why it is recommended that people buy a pre-ex waiver where available. That way if they need an additional plan, they still have coverage for these conditions.
Is the Average Cost of Health Insurance Rising?
ACA compliant Florida Blue, cigna, aetna and other Florida health insurance plans first came onto the insurance market in the 2013 open enrollment period for the 2014 plan year. Before that the average monthly cost for individual health insurance was $159. Since then the numbers have steadily increased – by 123%. For family plans the increase is even higher, at 174% higher from 2013 to 2018 according to healthcare research.
In 2018 the average cost of an individual ACA plan was $440 per month. That comes out to $5,280 a year, which is a lot of money for anyone, no matter their income. In fact, ACA plans are completely out of reach for many individuals who are not eligible for the subsidy to even consider buying now. To help make it more affordable, many people rely on government subsidies as well as Medicaid programs for those below 138% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) in states that expanded Medicaid. Florida did not expand Medicaid so it will be below 100% of FPL.
How to Get the Best Health Insurance in Florida for You
After the Affordable Care Act plans were launched in 2013, STM plans became an insurance option for those needing insurance outside of the government’s open enrollment period.
They’ve been helpful for people who missed the window to sign up for an ACA plan, were dropped from an employer (or parents’) plan, or are retired and waiting for Medicare benefits to start. It is also referred to as “gap coverage” and unlike ACA plans, you can purchase an individual or family Florida health insurance plan at any time of the year on an open market.
Prior to the Affordable Care Act becoming law, short term health insurance plans in Florida could last up to a year and there were fewer restrictions on reapplying for a new plan depending on your state. From April 2017 to October 2018, the length of short term plans became limited to a 3-month duration. There was also the ACA tax penalty for those who had short term health insurance since it did not meet the requirements of the Affordable Care Act.
The landscape has changed. There are big changes within the STM industry recently that are worth noting: starting in 2019 the tax penalty for having one is gone and you can now purchase an online health insurance plan in the state of Florida for up to 364 days, and you can obtain back-to-back policies for up to 36 months.