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Health insurance could remain same for state workers under DeSantis’ budget

File graphic
File graphic

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Gov. Ron DeSantis doesn’t want to make changes to the state-employee health insurance program that provides coverage for hundreds of thousands of Floridians.

In a proposed 2021-2022 budget the governor unveiled Thursday the state Department of Management Services would be required to “maintain and offer” the same preferred provider organization and health maintenance organization options currently available to employees.

RELATED: DeSantis unveils $96.6B budget with $2.6B more for pandemic response

State economists in December estimated that revenues that pay for employee health insurance will total $2.97 billion in the upcoming fiscal year and that expenses will total $2.993 billion.

While expenses would outpace revenues, the program is predicted to remain solvent. That’s because economists predict there will be a $750.3 million trust-fund surplus carried over into the new year.

According to state data, 134,547 full-time employees enrolled in the program for 2021 coverage. That included 52% who enrolled in family coverage and another 40% who enrolled in individual plans.

Less than 4% of the employees enrolled in “spouse” coverage. Also, nearly 7,000 part-time employees enrolled.

The vast majority, or 68%, of part-time employees chose individual plans and about 31% chose family coverage. Less than 1% of part-time employees chose spouse coverage.