A mandate-free health care “marketplace” established by former House Speaker Marco Rubio will start selling plans that are compliant with the federal health care law.
But a move to have the marketplace interface with the federal health insurance exchange so low income Floridians can qualify for tax credits hasn’t come to fruition, correspondence from Florida Health Choices Chief Executive Officer Rose Naff shows.
In a December 1 letter to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell Florida Health Choices Chief Executive Officer Rose M. Naff said the program will begin offering products that are compliant with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act–commonly called Obamacare–in “a few short weeks.”
She said the organization –created in statute as a mandate free health care marketplace by Rubio — did not offer the product on November 15 in deference to the federal government and to “minimize confusion among your target audience.”
In addition to selling PPACA-compliant plans, Naff wanted to establish a process and interface that would allow individuals who visited the Florida Health Choices marketplace to “be seemlessly qualified for federal tax” credits that are available through the federal exchange site, or healthcare.gov.
Health insurance exchanges are one key feature of the federal law. Florida did not establish a state run exchange as allowed under the law and, as a result, Floridians who want to tap into available subsidies to purchase PPACA compliant health plans must, instead, enroll in the federal exchange.
The subsidies — and whether they are available through a federal exchange — is the subject of litigation and the United States Supreme Court has agreed to hear a case addressing the issue.
Naff said in her letter that she had made repeated attempts to coordinate efforts with the Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight but that her “request for information and a technical meeting to discuss this option have been futile.” The CCIIO is responsible for implementing many of the federal health care provisions related to commercial insurance and also is the lead government organization charged with helping states implement insurance exchanges.
Naff contacted U.S. Senator Bill Nelson’s office in Washington seeking assistance. While Nelson’s office was able to coordinate a meeting between Naff and CCIIO, government staff was not “sufficiently informed on the subject to allow for a productive meeting.”