CFO Sink Urges Self-Employed Floridians to Buy, Review Health Insurance During August Open-Enrollment
TALLAHASSEE - Florida CFO Alex Sink has urged Florida's self-employed individuals to take advantage of the August open-enrollment period that allows single-group employers, sole proprietors, independent contractors and others to obtain health insurance or switch plans on a guaranteed-issue basis.
"This is critical information for self-employed Floridians because they are guaranteed coverage under Florida law, but only if they enroll this month," said CFO Sink. "I am reaching out to our state's small business owners, who are the backbone of Florida's economy, and urging them to take advantage of this open-enrollment period."
From August 1 through 31, 2009, 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, 2009.
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 plan options, consumers can 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. For further assistance in enrolling in a health care plan, Floridians should call the Department of Financial Services' Consumer Helpline at 1-877-My-FL-CFO (1-877-693-5236) or visit MyFloridaCFO.com.
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