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August 21, 2019

Florida Trend Health Care

Florida insurers sued for ‘misleading' consumers with sham health plans

| 6/18/2019

Florida insurers sued for ‘misleading’ consumers with sham health plans

A class-action complaint alleges that thousands of people nationwide were victims of a fraudulent scheme by a group of Florida companies that led consumers to believe they were getting major medical insurance when they actually were sold plans that didn't comply with the Affordable Care Act. The complaint, filed this month in federal court in Miami, says that Tampa-based Health Insurance Innovations Inc. and Health Plan Intermediaries Holdings LLC developed "limited benefit indemnity plans'' and paid millions of dollars to a South Florida company, Simple Health, to develop the sales pitch used to lure consumers. See the complaint here and read more from the , Med City News, and the New York Times.

See also:
» Victims will get opportunity to cancel ‘scam’ health insurance plans, judge rules

Analysts to weigh Medicaid expansion plan

State analysts this month will begin a series of meetings to consider the financial impact of a proposed constitutional amendment that would expand Medicaid coverage. The Financial Impact Estimating Conference will hold a workshop on the proposal June 28 and will hold three additional meetings on the issue in July and August, according to a notice posted on the Florida Senate website. [Source: Health News Florida]

Florida has the third-highest rate of new HIV diagnoses. The CDC wants to fix that

As home to one of the nation’s highest rates of new HIV diagnoses, South Florida will receive help from the federal government to raise awareness of the virus that causes AIDS and to ultimately reduce new infections as part of President Donald Trump’s national plan to end the epidemic. More than 115,000 people in Florida live with HIV, about 12.5 percent of all cases in the United States. [Source: Miami Herald]

Gov. DeSantis signs health insurance changes

Gov. Ron DeSantis last week signed into law a bill that could lead to a revamp of the health-insurance program for state employees. The measure (HB 1113) authorizes the state Department of Management Services to analyze current contracts with health maintenance organizations, preferred provider organizations and prescription drug programs and develop a plan to procure new contracts for benefits beginning in 2023. See the announcement and read more from and WFTV.

Florida drops in latest rankings of children’s well-being

The well-being of Florida’s children has slipped in the latest national ranking, with a rise in the number of low birth-weight babies, more child and teen deaths and more teens abusing alcohol or drugs. And while the number of Florida children covered by health insurance had increased from 2010 to 2016, that trend started to reverse in 2017, when 68,000 more children were uninsured compared to a year earlier. In all, some 325,000 Florida children lacked health insurance in 2017, a number researchers called “most troubling.” See the report and read more from the Orlando Sentinel.

ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:

› Watchdog: $5 million in equipment missing from Florida VA hospitals
Almost $5 million worth of equipment bought with taxpayer money has gone missing, stolen, or is otherwise unaccounted for at Department of Veterans Affairs hospitals across Florida, an investigation has learned. The $4.8 million worth of missing items dates back to 2014, VA records show. The newest of the Florida VA hospitals, the Orlando VA Medical Center in Lake Nona, reported just over $132,000 in missing items.

› New law allows paramedics in Florida to carry firearms in “high-risk” situations
A bill signed into law by Gov. Ron DeSantis allows trained EMS personnel to accompany law enforcement in dangerous situations. In the past, paramedics had to stand at a safe distance until law enforcement gave the all-clear when a patient is found. Now, specially trained paramedics can assist law enforcement tin these high risk situations such as drug raids and hostage situations if they meet the criteria.

› Florida looks to improve nutrition program
The Florida Department of Health is seeking input about how a nutrition program for women, infants and children can be improved and is giving people three weeks to send comments to Tallahassee. The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children, commonly referred to as WIC, serves low- and moderate-income pregnant, breastfeeding, and postpartum women, infants and children up to age 5.

› Woman finishes opioid awareness walk in Florida Keys
A South Carolina woman has reached the Florida Keys, completing a 2,575-mile (4,144-kilometer) walk to give attention to the opioid overdose crisis. Jessie Grieb finished her East Coast Overdose Awareness Walk Friday at Key West’s Southernmost Point in the Continental U.S. marker. Friday marked the fourth anniversary of her brother Brian’s death by accidental overdose.

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Florida's Medicaid coverage gap: The costly choice
Florida's Medicaid coverage gap: The costly choice

Isabel Betancourt, who has rheumatoid arthritis, is a full-time college student at Florida International University who pays for health insurance entirely on her own. She does not receive insurance from her employer, nor a subsidy from the government. Betancourt falls into the Medicaid coverage gap.

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