This Day On The Street
Continue to site
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here

Fla. Must Offer Insurance Or Pay $300M Penalty


TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) â¿¿ It turns out that the state of Florida has yet another major decision to make in the next few months when it comes to the federal health care overhaul.

The state may be forced to make sweeping changes to its health insurance program for state workers if it wants to avoid paying substantial penalties required under the law pushed by President Barack Obama.

Officials who run the health insurance program told legislators on Wednesday that Florida could be on the hook for a $300 million a year penalty unless it suddenly agrees to start covering part-time employees who work at least 30 hours a week.

Florida currently doesn't offer health care benefits to thousands of part-time employees because it's against state law. But under the federal health care overhaul, the state in January 2014 must start covering those part-timers or risk the fine.

Barbara Crosier, director of the Division of State Group Insurance, said the latest estimates show that there are 2,200 part-timers who work at least 30 hours in state agencies and another 4,700 part-time employees working at the state's public universities.

The cost to cover those part-time employees would be $23.5 million in the next year with the cost rising to nearly $49 million by 2015. But it's an expense that would come at the same time that the state health insurance program is projected to be in the red. The latest estimates project the program could have a deficit of more than $260 million two years from now.

Florida overall spends $1.9 billion a year on health insurance for its employees, their families and retirees. Most of that money comes from taxpayers and not from premiums or doctor visit co-payments.

Rep. Richard Corcoran, R-Land O' Lakes, and chairman of a House panel reviewing the federal health care overhaul, said lawmakers could pay for the part-time workers by raising premiums or changing benefits offered to full-time state workers. That's been a contentious issue in recent years especially since state legislators and even Gov. Rick Scott currently pay relatively low premiums for health coverage.

1 of 2

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Options Profits

Our options trading pros provide over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • Actionable options commentary and news
  • Real-time trading community


Chart of I:DJI
DOW 16,102.38 -272.38 -1.66%
S&P 500 1,921.22 -29.91 -1.53%
NASDAQ 4,683.9190 -49.5780 -1.05%

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs