For a more competitive Florida, the Florida Chamber of Commerce supports marketing Florida’s “Perfect Climate for Business.”
Yesterday, the opening day of 2015 Special Session A, the Florida Senate Committee on Health Policy chaired by Senator Aaron Bean (R-Fernandina Beach) passed Senate Bill 2-A, Health Insurance Affordability Exchange. The legislation strengthens the core principles of the Florida Senate’s Health Insurance Affordability Exchange (FHIX) Program, including consumer choice and personal responsibility, which earned the overwhelming bipartisan support of the Senate during the 2015 Regular Session.
The FHIX program offers health care coverage to an estimated 800,000 uninsured, low-income Floridians earning less than 138 percent of the federal poverty level (FPL). Under FHIX, enrollees will receive a premium credit, to shop for plans, services, and products on the FHIX marketplace. Enrollees may access plans on the federal health insurance exchange, all Florida Health Choices products and services, products offered by the Florida Healthy Kids Corporation, and employer sponsored plans. Enrollees will also be provided with a health reimbursement or health savings account.
To be eligible, an individual must be a U.S. citizen and a Florida resident. Participants are required to complete an initial application for coverage which includes proof of employment, on-the-job training, or placement activities, including registration with CareerSource Florida, or pursuit of educational opportunities at a minimum hourly level. Parents with children under the age of 18 would have a minimum requirement of 20 hours per week. Childless adults (disabled adults or caregivers of disabled children or adults may submit exceptions) would have a minimum requirement of 30 hours per week.
The bill provides the Agency for Health Care Administration with authority to seek federal approval to implement the FHIX program. Any significant changes to the FHIX program made or suggested by the federal government would have to be approved by the legislature prior to implementation. Triggers to end the program in its entirety are also included should the program not be approved or if the federal match rate falls below certain thresholds.
For more information on the FHIX program, please visit the Florida Senate online.
The next SCORE Business Roundtable will be held at the Lakeland Chamber of Commerce on May 28, 7:30am. The topic is “Retirement Plans for Businesses” with our guest Gary Willis of Edward Jones. The facilitator is Pat Dooley.
Polk County Clerk of Courts Stacy Butterfield has released her 2014 Strategic Update, a report that provides residents an inside look into the work and development of the Clerk’s office. View the report online at www.polkcountyclerk.net.
Approximately 70,000 students will continue to receive educational opportunities thanks to a decision by a Florida judge to dismiss a lawsuit against tax credit scholarship and school choice programs.
This Florida Chamber-supported program, created in 2001 by former Governor Jeb Bush, allows businesses to provide scholarships for students from low-income families to attend high-quality private schools, helping to break generational poverty by providing students with exponentially greater educational opportunities for success.
“In Florida, we’re way beyond sitting back and letting the status quo roll over students’ opportunities and lives,” said Patricia Levesque, Executive Director of Foundation for Florida’s Future in a statement. “The unions do not speak for the tens of thousands of parents and teachers embracing choices that make success possible for more and more students every year.”
The Florida Chamber believes talent is quickly becoming Florida’s new economic development currency. The Florida Chamber will continue to support programs that empower parents, provide students with learning opportunities and help our state succeed.