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Senator seeks changes in state worker insurance

Balance billingWhen a provider bills you for the difference between the provider's charge and the allowed amount. For example, if the provider's charge is $100 and the allowed amount is $70, the provider may bill you for the remaining $30. A preferred provider may not balance bill you for covered services.
Balance billingWhen a provider bills you for the difference between the provider's charge and the allowed amount. For example, if the provider's charge is $100 and the allowed amount is $70, the provider may bill you for the remaining $30. A preferred provider may not balance bill you for covered services.

Sen. Tom Lee, R-Thonotosassa, on Monday filed a bill that would revamp the state-employee health insurance program, long a goal of House Republican leaders.

Lee's bill (SB 900) would make a series of changes, including requiring that health plans offer four different benefit levels, starting in 2020.

The bill would provide an incentive for employees to choose coverage that would cost less than the amount of money the state contributes for premiums.

In those situations, the balance of the money would go to employees for such things as salary increases or purchasing additional health benefits, according to the bill.

The measure is similar to a House bill (PCB HHS 17-01) that will be heard Tuesday in the House Health & Human Services Committee.

"Our current plan offers limited choices and lacks the price transparency needed for employees and their families to make cost-effective healthcare purchases," Lee said in a prepared statement. "This bill incorporates modern, innovative models for delivering high-quality health care at lower costs that will empower state employees to decide what benefits make the most sense for them."