Florida Health Insurance
If you intend to purchase health insurance anywhere in the state of Florida, it’s a good idea to learn about any significant regulations and guidelines under which the insurers here must operate. Below you will find a listing of some of the most important information to bear in mind before purchasing a policy.
- Like many states, Florida issues licenses to those health insurance companies that are authorized to operate within the state. Unless otherwise noted, you can assume that any information presented here is applicable to licensed insurers only.
- Florida health insurers are required to allow any policy-holder to renew his or her policy without restriction, so long as all premiums are paid and the original application contains no false information. This also means that your policy may not be cancelled by your insurer without your express consent.
- Health insurance companies in Florida are permitted by law to deny coverage to any new applicant for reasons having to do with health, age, and similar pretexts. These considerations can also be used as a justification for raising the premiums on an existing policy.
- Pre-existing conditions— defined as any health condition for which you have received diagnosis or treatment within the past two years— can be specifically exempted from coverage by any insurer when setting up a new health plan. This exemption gives the company the right to refuse payment for any health costs arising from that condition, and can last for any amount of time. In some cases, the exemption can be permanent. Fortunately, any elapsed pre-existing condition exemption period on an earlier policy will generally carry over onto a new policy that you buy, counting against any waiting period that new policy imposes.
- All small businesses operating in Florida have the advantage of access to any form of group health coverage that is already being offered to other small businesses in this state, and insurers here are required to sell these policies to any small business that requests them.
- Health insurance companies that administer group health coverage to small businesses in Florida are allowed to impose minimum-participation requirements for this coverage to stay in effect. This means that if too small a percentage of employees at a company opt into their health coverage, the entire company’s coverage can be dropped.
- Rates and premiums for small-business health coverage in Florida can vary dramatically based upon the age, gender, and familial status of the insured, but not due to their present health status. As with individual policies, coverage cannot be cancelled due to illness among the health plan’s participants.
- Self-employed individuals have access to the same group health coverage as any small business, even if the company has no other employees. Individual policies are available as well, of course, and a large portion of the premiums on individual health coverage for a self-employed person may also be tax-deductible.
Because of the difficulty of acquiring new coverage later, when your health might be less than ideal, it’s a very good idea to purchase health insurance as early as possible. When you do decide to seek health coverage, make sure to compare rates and premiums between several different insurers before choosing one over another. Most importantly, don’t be afraid to ask questions and seek advice before deciding on a policy.