Around 12% of the Floridians do not have health insurance and this number is expected to rise further in the wake of the coronavirus effect. Albeit residents of the state who are looking forward to shopping for health insurance should not lose heart, as the state does offer some cheap and affordable health insurance options that will surely meet their health requirements as well as their budget. Residents just need to diligently explore the options available to find the right amount of coverage for themselves as well as their families. Florida leads the country in having the highest number of its residents enrolled in ACA-compliant plans through the federal exchange. Even enrollment in the private plans through Florida’s exchange was high during the open enrollment period. Besides ACA-plans there are several other health insurance options also available for the residents.
Open Enrollment Period
In a couple of months’, the open enrollment period in Florida will start, as enrollment for 2021 health plans will start from November 1 and will end on December 15, 2020. However, Florida residents with qualifying events can still enroll or make changes to their coverage for the 2020 health plan. The COVID-19 pandemic that led to the job loss of so many people along with job-sponsored health insurance, has made people eligible for a special enrolment period.
Health Insurance Options in Florida
Residents of Florida need to understand that there are plenty of affordable health insurance products available to purchase, they just need to devote some time and effort to find the best plan available. Though not all the health plans will cover as many health care needs as the expensive major medical plans, still these plans will allow individuals with limited budgets to have at least some coverage in case of medical emergencies. By having some type of affordable health insurance in Florida, people will be protected from accruing large medical bills during unexpected medical issues or in the case of hospitalization. Some affordable health insurance alternatives in Florida include:
Short-term Health Insurance
With short-term health insurance monthly premiums costing just about a third of major medical plans on the individual market cost, this alternative health insurance option is a great way for budget-conscious residents to find affordable health insurance in Florida. It is often seen that some of the people just require the most basic coverage in case of medical emergencies like sudden illness or a serious injury. For all such individuals, a short term plan may be a great way to obtain cheap and affordable health insurance in Florida. Short-term plans can be obtained in Florida for initial plan terms of up to 364 days. 50% of the enrollees of the short-term plans said that they would not have health insurance coverage without the short-term health insurance option. The demand for short-term plans has increased in the last few years.
Catastrophic Health Plans
Catastrophic health plans are other affordable options for residents of Florida who are unable to purchase health insurance due to its rising cost. Catastrophic health plans have low premiums though the deductibles are high. Still, these plans prove to be the best option for people who are young and healthy and don’t have many health issues and don’t require frequent visits to the doctors. Catastrophic health plans would not make financially much sense for people who use more healthcare services.
Packaged Medical Insurance
Packaged health insurance is another affordable health insurance option for the residents of Florida, which combines several limited benefit insurance plans and products to develop a comprehensive set of benefits at a lower price compared to major medical coverage. Health insurance products that may be included in the packaged medical insurance are accident insurance, short-term health plans, critical illness plans, dental insurance, vision insurance, or drug discount cards. Buying Packaged medical insurance is extremely convenient, as people just need to fill a single application for multiple products, thereby saving time and effort of people.
Impacts of COVID-19 on the Florida Health Insurance Market
Florida or the Sunshine State is amongst the adversely COVID-19 affected states, where a significant number of people have lost health insurance coverage due to COVID-19 either due to loss of job or loss of income. Though such people became eligible for a special enrollment period during which they can purchase an alternative health insurance plan, but finding a cheap and affordable health plan was a big concern for them, especially when they either have no income or reduce income.