Senate Bill 80 is making its way through Senate committees, and would offer direct primary care contracts as an additional healthcare option for Florida businesses, employees, and taxpayers.
A healthcare bill that would approve the offering of “direct primary care” agreements to Florida residents is headed toward the state Senate floor, according to WGCU. Championed by Sen. Tom Lee, Senate Bill 80 permits healthcare providers to extend primary healthcare services to patients by charging monthly fees through direct primary care contracts. These arrangements do not violate any insurance laws, are between providers and patients, patients’ employers or legal representatives, and can be dissolved by providing 30 days notice.
The Florida Legislature has considered similar bills for four years now, but Senate Bill 80 is different than past proposals because it wouldn’t amend the state insurance code. Rather, it would amend regulations on healthcare providers to outline the contracts and to determine that the agreements don’t qualify as formal insurance. Senate Bill 80 also doesn’t enable these kind of arrangements for Medicaid.
Senate Bill 80 has been approved by two Senate committees, and is backed by business groups. The legislation is now on its way to the Senate Appropriations Committee, which means it could be on the Senate floor by the 2018 session beginning this January. A companion proposal, House Bill 37, was introduced in the House, as well, and is expected to garner majority support.
NFIB, a long proponent of direct primary care as a way to connect more small businesses with lower-cost healthcare, will be leading the charge to get the legislation across the finish line when the 2018 legislative session begins in January.
“Small business owners want direct primary care as a healthcare option for themselves and their employees,” said NFIB/Florida Executive Direction Bill Herrle.