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David Altmaier unsure on Obamacare’s future in Florida

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Florida Insurance Commissioner David Altmaier won’t commit to an answer on Obamacare being a long-term solution to the Sunshine State’s health insurance needs. When asked Tuesday whether the insurance regime set up by the Affordable Care Act (ACA) could be salvaged, Altmaier said “that will take a little bit more conversation; I don’t know that I’m ready to say one way or the other.” The commissioner spoke with reporters after his appearance at a Florida Cabinet meeting. Earlier this month, the Office…

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Coalition launches petition to encourage Pam Bondi to investigate insurance mergers

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A coalition of consumer and physicians’ groups isn’t backing away from its request for an investigation into insurance mergers. The Florida Campaign for Consumer Choice on Friday launched a statewide petition drive to encourage Attorney General Pam Bondi to investigate the mergers of Aetna and Humana, and Anthem and Cigna. The petition effort is the latest in a series of calls to action by the organization. “We know that 88-percent of Floridians have expressed some levels of concern regarding the…

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Geraldine Thompson: Profits ahead of patients spells trouble for Floridians

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As a longtime community advocate and state legislator in Orlando, I work every day to make sure that consumers in Florida have access to quality, affordable health care. The recent approved mergers of Aetna with Humana and Anthem with Cigna pose great challenges for Florida consumers. While the idea of mergers to create bigger companies may seem like a good idea – the results can be disastrous. As citizens, we must demand that mergers like these are held up to…

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Fernando Valverde picked for State University System’s Board of Governors

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Gov. Rick Scott has tapped Dr. Fernando Valverde for the Board of Governors of the State University System, the Governor’s Office has said in a news release. In 2010, Valverde was a member on Scott’s Health and Human Services Transition Team, tasked with brainstorming ideas for reform at the state’s Department of Health. Valverde, 56, of Miami, has been Florida regional president of Humana, one of Florida’s largest Medicare health benefits companies, since January. According to a news release upon his 2014 appointment, Valverde…

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Most health insurers raise 2016 Florida Obamacare rates

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Premiums for most health insurance policies sold on the federal exchange are increasing for Floridians this year, but state regulators used new authority to negotiate lower rates so the hikes aren’t as big as they could have been, according to filings released Wednesday by the Office of Insurance Regulation. Aetna requested a 21 percent increase for plans sold in 2016, but the agency only approved 14 percent. Coventry requested a 16 percent hike and was approved for 8 percent. Plans…

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