Florida offers slim health care plan

Dr. Ethan Brackett examines Cristina Valdez at the Codman Square Health Center in Dorchester, Mass.

TEXT OF STORY

Scott Jagow: One of the most frustrating issues of our time has to be health insurance. States are going back to the drawing board trying to come up with something new, like health plans with no frills. Florida just signed something into law this week. Insurance companies have to offer cheap plans without all the extras. But as Dan Grech reports, people better read the fine print.


Dan Grech: The "Cover Florida" plan allows insurers to cap reimbursements on some procedures and sheds many previously mandated services, such as acupuncture and podiatry. Insurance companies could also limit how many days of hospitalization it will cover.

Uwe Reinhardt: You know, you get what you pay for.

That's health care policy expert Uwe Reinhardt with Princeton University. He says this plan will give people a false sense of security.

Reinhardt: One might call it unsurance, you know. You get a little bit covered, and then in the third day of a hospital stay that really requires eight, they tell you, well, you're on your own now. You either go home, bleeding, or we're going to forfeit your car and your house.

Thirteen other states have passed laws allowing similar bare-bones policies, but the plans haven't proven very popular. Florida aims to start selling the policies in January.

I'm Dan Grech for Marketplace.

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