Florida bills aim to expand health freedom

Two Florida bills aim to expand health freedom. House Bill HB37 was filed by Rep. Fred Costello in August. A companion bill (SB132) was introduced by Sen. Denise Grimsley in the Senate.

The legislation specifies “that a direct primary care agreement does not constitute insurance and is not subject to provisions relating to prepaid limited health service organizations and discount medical plan organizations, or any other chapter of the Florida Insurance Code; providing that certain certificates of authority and licenses are not required to market, sell, or offer to sell a direct primary care agreement, etc.”

The intent is to free doctors and patients from the onerous requirements and regulations under the state insurance code.

“Direct Primary Care” involves an agreement between a patient and physician or practice, which typically involves patients paying a set monthly or annual fee to a physician or practice and then being able to get routine primary care (generally) without additional costs. The arrangements eliminate the role of insurers in such care.

In addition to office visits, some programs offer discounted prescriptions, personal health coaches, stitches, basic laboratory work and diagnostic work such as EKGs, x-ray, ultrasound, etc., though services vary by provider. Some Direct Primary Care providers say they can address 80 or more of the top 100 most common diagnoses.

In 2015, several states including Idaho, Oklahoma, Mississippi, Texas and Missouri passed similar bills.


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