Florida | Summer | 2008 | Health Plan Analysis

Florida insurers are seeing a marked movement toward self-insured health benefit designs, and the worsening economy in the state could keep the momentum toward self insurance under way for some time. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida is responding to the market's call for affordable products by developing a new limited-benefit product called GoBlue that requires no medical underwriting and with premium costs of $16 to $64. A limited benefits package is at the core of the upcoming Cover Florida program, which is Gov. Charlie Crist's plan to eat into the 3.8 million-person uninsured rate in the Sunshine State. Nine insurers have made applications to offer products in Cover Florida, which gets under way in January 2009. The managed Medicaid sector, meanwhile, is booming with a recent expansion by AmeriChoice in the Florida Health Kids program and an enrollment of more than 200,000 in the state's Medicaid Reform plan in five counties. Electronic prescribing is picking up steam in Florida, which is ranked 19th nationally in the percentage of prescriptions that are transmitted electronically. On the Medicare front, Humana is increasing its market share in the lucrative Medicare Advantage market even more with its purchase of Metcare Health Plans in the Treasure Coast region.