Florida lawmakers introduce bill that would limit homebuyers’ access to health insurance
Florida lawmakers introduced a bill on Tuesday that would restrict homebuyer access to their own insurance companies, but only if the policyholders have health insurance.
The bill, HB 562, was introduced by state Sen. David Vigoda, D-Miami, and passed the Senate Judiciary Committee by a vote of 9-3, with Sen. Edith Ramirez, D, Orlando, the only Democrat voting against the bill.
The legislation would limit the ability of homebuyrs to purchase policies from a single insurer, and would require insurers to charge premiums that are higher than what homebuylers can get through their own health insurance company.
“The legislation will help consumers who are struggling with rising health care costs,” Ramirez said in a statement.
“It also protects the taxpayers of Florida and other states from future cost overruns in health care, and ensures that our taxpayers are not left on the hook for additional costs in the event of catastrophic events.”
Florida has been a leading battleground state for health care reform, with President Donald Trump and his administration vowing to move quickly to make the Affordable Care Act of 2009 (ACA) more affordable for consumers.
Florida has a high percentage of uninsured people, making the legislation a major win for homebuyters and insurers alike.
Homebuyers are currently required to purchase health insurance through their home health plan and must provide proof of coverage, such as a birth certificate, proof of income, and proof of residency.
If a policyholder does not have coverage, they can still opt to purchase insurance through an unaffiliated provider.
Insurers have also been quick to expand coverage for the uninsured under the ACA.
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced in December that it will expand Medicaid coverage to the uninsured through 2018.
The law also expanded eligibility for Medicaid to more people in 2020, which means more people will be eligible for insurance.
Home insurance premiums have been increasing by double digits for many homebuyings over the last several years.
According to data from the National Association of Realtors, homebuyners are paying $4,500 more per year for insurance than they were three years ago.