Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Florida leaves health-care money on the table

Federal health officials are divvying up $49 million among states that provide subsidized health insurance to people who can't buy it because they have medical problems. None of that money will be coming to Florida.

That's because Florida closed its high-risk pool for the medically uninsurable in 1992 and has not accepted any applicants since. The state has missed out on a share of the $286 million the Department of Health and Human Services has passed out since 2003.

Florida's risk pool -- formally called the Florida Comprehensive Health Association -- has only about 300 members now, down from about 7,500 who joined before the pool was closed 16 years ago, said Jerry Ashford, director of the association.

At least 250,000 uninsurable Floridians need access to the pool, he said, adding that the number may be as high as 800,000.

Read the Florida Health News report here.


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