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Healthcare Insurance FloridaHealthcare Coverage | Florida

Do you need Health Care Insurance?

GreatFlorida Insurance is committed to helping Floridians make informed decisions about their health care. Health insurance is designed to protect individuals and families from the high costs of health care.

Whether you are facing a pre-existing health condition, an emergency situation or just want preventative and wellness care, health insurance will pay part of your costs.

GreatFlorida Insurance offers coverage through Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida, also known as Florida Blue.

We can help clear up any confusion about recent health reform, the Affordable Care Act, (ACA) and answer any of your questions concerning health care.

How does health insurance work?

Your health insurance plan is a contract between you and your insurance company.

You pay a monthly bill called a premium for the health plan and the insurance company agrees to pay part of the costs for covered medical services.

Blue Cross Blue Shield has four levels of coverage, bronze, silver, gold and platinum.

The plans have varying costs and coverage to meet your needs and budget. Another option includes a Catastrophic Plan for single people under 30 who qualify through financial hardships.

GreatFlorida Insurance can help you understand your choice of plans and options for health care through Florida Blue.

We will help you apply for and enroll in a plan that works best for you.

Affordable Care Act

In March 2010, President Obama signed into law, comprehensive health reform, Affordable Care Act, (ACA). The law makes preventative care more accessible and affordable for many Americans.

The health care law is designed to provide better benefits and expanding coverage while creating a stronger Medicare program.

What if I do not get health insurance in 2014?

If you can afford health insurance but choose not to buy it, you will be penalized and must pay a fee. The fee in 2014 is 1 percent of your yearly income or $95 per person for the year, whichever is higher.

The fee increases every year. In 2016 it is 2.5 percent of income or $695 per person, whichever is higher. In 2014 the payment for uninsured children is $47.50 per child.

New Options Include:

Floridians can find out if they are eligible for lower costs for private insurance or health programs like Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program, (CHIP) and enroll in health coverage.

Parents can keep their children on their health insurance policy until they turn 26 years old.

Insurers can no longer deny coverage to children because of pre-existing conditions such as asthma or diabetes.

In 2014, health insurers will no longer be able to charge more or deny coverage to anyone with a pre-existing condition.

Health insurance companies now have to spend at least 80 cents of your premium dollar on health care or improvements to care or provide you with a refund.

Insurance companies are required to publicly justify their actions if they want to raise rates by 10 percent or more.

Insurance companies are banned from imposing lifetime dollar limits on health benefits. The law also restricts the use of annual limits and bans them completely in 2014.

Preventative services such as colonoscopy screening for colon cancer, Pap smears and mammograms for women, well-child visits and flu shots for all children and adults, will be covered with no deductible or co-pay required.

Increases funding to community health centers

Strengthens Medicare Program

Increasing coverage for brand name and generic drugs

No deductibles or co-pays for preventative services seniors and people with disabilities

Extends the life of the Medicare Trust Fund by ten years

Simply call 888-478-7801 or complete our online quote request form. A GreatFlorida Health Care Insurance Agent in Florida will help you find the best deal for you.

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Healthcare Insurance Florida Blog
by GreatFlorida Insurance

Your health insurance plan is a contract between you and your insurance company but do you really know what is in it? “Completely understanding your health insurance benefits can save you money,” says Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s largest independent health insurance provider.

Our knowledge should extend beyond premiums, deductibles and in-network doctors. We don’t always research the specifics of our plans, making the most of our medical coverage. According to, insurance companies and job-based health plans must provide you with a Summary of Benefit and Coverage (SBC). It is smart to take time to review our healthcare benefits and how they can work to our infograph

For example, if you have medical, dental or vision coverage, take advantage of preventative screenings. Annual check-ups, well-exams and cancer screenings are free. Vaccinations such as the flu shot also do not cost you anything due to recent changes in healthcare.

Likewise, check for the inclusion of discounts for health and wellness products and services. This can include gym memberships, yoga classes, exercise equipment even trips to the chiropractor. Your health insurance could cover a visit with a nutritionist to improve your diet or smoking cessation classes to help you stop smoking. Some health insurance plans also include healthy living rewards, discounts for healthy habits.

“Be sure to check into prescription drug coverage,” reminds Buck with GreatFlorida Insurance. Switching to generic drugs can keep money in your pocket. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reports generic drugs cost 80 to 85 percent less than brand-name versions.

Another place to find prescription drug savings is in the pharmacy you choose. Shop pharmacies and compare prices, especially on prescription medication you use regularly. Wholesale clubs such as Costco and Sam’s Club, do not require a membership to fill and purchase prescriptions at their pharmacies. Also, do not be shy about asking your medical professional for samples.

Do not waste your time if you do not like your doctor or clinic. Most people do not switch because of the hassle of finding a new doctor. But many websites with reviews or word of mouth, will assist in finding a physician you feel comfortable with while in your network.

Additionally, pay attention to open enrollment season. This is the time to make any necessary changes to your health insurance plan. Re-evaluate your medical expenses over the past year while keeping future needs in mind.

GreatFlorida Insurance provides top notch medical insurance through Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida, or Florida Blue. Give us a call today or go online to find out more information.



The post Maximize Your Health Insurance Policy appeared first on The GreatFlorida Insurance Blog.

by GreatFlorida Insurance

Beginning January 1, 2017, a couple of new laws will go into effect in Florida.

“These new laws are intended to diminish the abuse of medications,” says Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s largest independent health insurance agency.

Cough Medicines-SB 938, prohibits the sale of cough medicines containing the synthetically produced dextromethorphan to people under the age of 18 and requires identification from those presumed younger than 25.

Dextromethorphan is commonly found in cough medicines such as: Robitussin, Alka Seltzer Plus, Tylenol Cough & Cold and Vick’s NyQuil. According to WebMD, “Dextromethorphan or DMX, is in almost half of all over-the-counter drugs sold in the U.S.”

Legislation was proposed after reports were confirmed of teenagers using cough medicine to get high. WebMD also reports, a 2008 study found 1 in 10 teens abuse cough medicine. When used properly, DMX products are safe but high doses can cause hallucinogenic trips and pose serious health risks.


Opioid Insurance Coverage-SB 422, prohibits insurance policies that cover opioid medications with exceptions, from requiring prior authorization for abuse-deterrent versions of the medications.

Supporters of the measure argued the change is intended, in part, to make it easier for people to access medication less likely to cause addiction. “Florida lawmakers have provided a solution to address the prescription drug abuse problem in Florida, says Buck with GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s leading independent health insurance agency.

Website, shares, approximately 23.5 million Americans struggle with chronic pain. Regrettably, the 104 percent increase in painkiller prescriptions between 2000 and 2010 has not resulted in improvement in pain control or disability outcomes.

A destructive cycle can occur when patients become dependent on opiate pain killers. Millions of people are addicted. Once these opiates become difficult to get or too expensive, many turn to heroin.

GreatFlorida Insurance provides quality health insurance policies for all levels of coverage. Talk with an agent today.




The post New Laws Take Effect January 1 in Florida appeared first on The GreatFlorida Insurance Blog.

by GreatFlorida Insurance

Most of us overindulge a little bit this time of the year. Holiday parties and gatherings offer an irresistible assortment of sweet treats, salty snacks and holiday themed cocktails. Likewise, it is easy to disregard healthy food choices in the midst of a hastened season.

“Keeping your health a priority during the holidays is important,” reminds Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s leading independent health insurance agency.

Those mindful of their health often turn to a short detoxification plan to help them get back on track. The primary goal of a detox is to cleanse your body of toxins so you can bounce back after a night of overindulgence.


Notably, Dr. Mehmet Oz has a two-day plan to help offset excesses with recipes included. The goal is to release water retention and bloating, re-balance your blood sugar levels, remove fat promoting toxins from your body and recharge your metabolism. His plan is designed to help avoid weight gain over the holiday season while enjoying the treats you adore.

Additionally, nutrition and health expert Joy Bauer has a one-day post detox plan. She advises the day after a night of over doing it, waking up the next morning and beginning your day with exercise. A 45-minute walk will work up a sweat and reduce bloating and inflammation. She also advises drinking plenty of water and omitting starchy carbs such as bread, pasta, rice and potatoes.

Whether a detox is necessary, is up for debate. Experts with the Mayo Clinic report, “The kidneys and liver are generally quite effective at filtering and eliminating most ingested toxins.”

“In spite of claims that a detox is not necessary, many people say they feel better after a brief detox,” says Buck with GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s largest independent health insurance agency.

Reported benefits of a detox include, increased energy and better focus, who couldn’t use that around the holidays?

GreatFlorida Insurance agents can offer you and your family quality health insurance policies to fit your needs. Give us a call today.

GreatFlorida Insurance is a authorized vendor of health insurance for Blue Cross & Blue Shield.

GreatFlorida Insurance is a authorized vendor of health insurance for Blue Cross & Blue Shield.

The post Holiday Detox appeared first on The GreatFlorida Insurance Blog.

by GreatFlorida Insurance

The longing for family during holidays, thrusts people into the madness of holiday travel. This year transcend your anxiety and prepare for a stress free family vacation.

“The key to a successful trip is preparation,” says Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s leading independent auto insurance agency.

Minimize stress with good planning and helpful travel tips to maximize the holiday cheer upon arrival.

On the Road

Get your vehicle ready. Updated maintenance and a tire inspection is recommended by AAA before hitting the road.

Establish expectations with your kids, no fighting or complaining, etc. If they get restless, offer them a reward for good behavior. Let them pick out a snack at the next stop.

Accompany your children on bathroom breaks.

Keep valuables and gifts stored in the trunk.

Map your route in advanced and prepare for traffic.

“Keep your roadside assistance information available in case of an emergency,” cautions Buck with GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s largest independent car insurance agency.



Streamline your approach to traveling. Less stuff, less stress. Send gifts ahead or ship them to your destination. This avoids excess baggage and reduces the risk of TSA ripping open your packages. Also, don’t pack what you can buy at your destination. Once you arrive you can buy small quantities of toiletries.

Download airline apps to stay on top of flight information.

Check in as early as possible on-line (usually 24 hours).

Conde ’Nast Traveler  recommends GateGuru, an app that reports up to the minute TSA wait times, gate changes and locates airport eateries.

Get a ride to the airport from a friend or transportation service. Navigating parking is one less anxiety.

Leave the laptop at home and use your cell phone.

Charge all electronic devices and keep chargers accessible.

Make sure to have a good book, movie or music to keep you busy.

Eat well-snacks are fun and necessary, but this is no time to get “hangry.” Choose healthy meals.

Wear your heavier clothes so they do not take up room in your luggage.

Bring an extra empty duffel bag folded up in your luggage for gifts to bring home.

Remember this is a wonderful time of the year, be patient and kind. Many people are frustrated and cranky. You will get further with people by being nice rather than assertive and threatening.

GreatFlorida Insurance provides comprehensive car insurance at great rates. Our agents will compare car insurance from several reputable companies across the U.S. to find an auto policy suitable for you.


The post Surviving Holiday Travel appeared first on The GreatFlorida Insurance Blog.

by GreatFlorida Insurance

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. Unfortunately, that sentiment does not prevent disasters from happening. Mishaps during the holidays are all too common. Find out if your homeowners insurance protects you during this festive time of year.


If you fall off a ladder while making your home look merry and bright, chances are you will utilize your personal health insurance coverage. What happens if a neighbor trips over an extension cord running across your yard?

“The medical payments coverage within homeowners insurance pays for guests injured on your property,” says Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance. “You also have liability insurance in case you are sued for injuries.



Fires usually start with candle flames, overloaded outlets and dry Christmas trees, the very source of our festive ambiance. The U.S. Fire Administration(USFA) reports December as the peak month for candle fires, with one-third of them starting in the bedroom.

In your homeowners insurance, dwelling coverage pays for damage to your home and any unattached structures such as a fence or attached garage. Personal property will cover your belongings, including furniture and clothing.

“Consider increasing the limits of your homeowners insurance if it was purchased a while back,” recommends Buck with GreatFlorida Insurance.  “Ask an agent to help you identify your home’s current rebuilding costs.”


Not everyone this season is in the holiday spirit. Porch pirates are ramping up to steal your packages. NBC News claims an estimated 23 million Americans reported stolen packages over the past year. Having packages delivered to your workplace, tracking packages and requiring a signature will leave porch pirates empty handed.

Personal property within your homeowners insurance will cover stolen items from inside your home or the front porch.

While insurance coverage is not at the forefront of your mind this holiday season, it is comforting to know, the proper homeowners insurance has you covered for unexpected hazards that can occur.

GreatFlorida Insurance agents will make sure you have the adequate homeowners insurance to keep you and your family protected throughout the holiday season. Call us today.


The post Are You Covered for Holiday Calamity? appeared first on The GreatFlorida Insurance Blog.