Sen. Aaron Bean to step down from Health Choices board

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After getting elected to the Senate last month, Fernandina Beach Republican Aaron Bean will leave the board of the Florida Health Choices program as of Dec. 31. Bean played a key role in creating the program while a member of the House and has served as its board chairman.

Florida Health Choices is planned as an online marketplace that would help employees of small businesses shop for affordable health coverage.

Bean informed other board members in a letter this week that he was stepping down. “My new role as state senator will prevent me from being as active as a board member as I would like to be,” the letter said. “Please know I will continue to be a big fan of Florida Health Choices, our mission and the work we have done together.” Florida Health Choices could start selling coverage in early 2013, though the federal Affordable Care Act has created questions about the program’s long-term future.

In a statement posted on the Florida Health Choices website, Chief Executive Officer Rose Naff said a new board chair and officers will be selected during a meeting Jan. 22. “We are making significant progress, as agents continue to enroll and we bring on additional insurance providers and vendors to serve Florida small businesses and their employees,” Naff said. “I am pleased with the direction we are heading and grateful for Senator Bean’s leadership, which helped bring us to this point.”

Via the News Service of Florida.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.