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CFO Sink Urges Self-Employed Floridians to Buy, Review Health Insurance during August Open Enrollment

8/6/2010

CONTACT: Jayme O’Rourke or Nina Banister, 850-413-2842

TALLAHASSEE--Florida CFO Alex Sink is urging Florida’s self-employed individuals to take advantage of the August open-enrollment period that allows sole proprietors, independent contractors and others to obtain health insurance or switch plans on a guaranteed-issue basis, without regard to health status. 

“Unforeseen medical expenses can be financially devestating, and it’s so important that our state’s self-employed workers and small businesses have adequate coverage,” said CFO Sink. “Our state’s small businesses are the backbone of Florida’s economy, and I encourage Floridians who qualify to take advantage of this open-enrollment period.”

From August 1 through 31, 2010, insurers and Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs) that write small-group policies must offer basic and standard coverage to self-employed Floridians without regard to health status.  Policies written or renewed in August have a plan start date of October 1, 2010.

Applicants must meet all of the conditions and criteria established by law, and provide documentation verifying the operation of an active business, including tax forms, license information and business receipts, per Florida Statute 627.6699(3)(u).

The Small Group Carrier List is available on the Department of Financial Services’ web site at: http://www.myfloridacfo.com/Consumers/Guides/Health/smallGroupMarketCarriers.htm.

For premium comparisons, go to https://apps.fldfs.com/sercs/ on the Office of Insurance Regulation web page. Click on the “One Life Group Factor” button to get rate information for a one-life group.

For plan options, go to: http://www.floir.com/lh_fr/is_LHFR_Small_Emp_Benefit_Plan.aspx.

In addition to basic and standard policies, coverage options for employers include health savings accounts (HSAs) or health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs).  HSAs, which operate like Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs), allow people to save their own money in a tax-free account for use on health-related expenses. If the money is not spent, it rolls over annually and accumulates until the policyholder reaches age 65, at which time the money can be used for any purpose.

A Health Insurance guide and Small Business Owners’ Insurance guide are available on CFO Sink’s web site.  Additional information regarding health care plans may be obtained from the Department of Financial Services’ Consumer Helpline at 1-877-My-FL-CFO (1-877-693-5236) or visit MyFloridaCFO.com.

As a statewide elected officer of the Florida Cabinet, CFO Alex Sink oversees the Department of Financial Services.  A successful business leader with nearly three decades of experience in the private sector, Sink is serving her first term as Florida's CFO.  CFO Sink's priorities include using her business experience to cut wasteful spending, holding government accountable to Florida’s taxpayers, and cracking down on financial and insurance fraud.