Real people. Real choices.
 Site managed by Tony Novak  800-609-0683     Support options    Site map  
Need help with health care choices in Florida?
We can help with free professional email and telephone support.

Accident | Short Term | Critical Illness | Dental | Disability Income | Emergency | FB University | Group | Guaranteed Issue | HRA | HSA | High deductible | Immigrant | Individual | International | Life | Major Medical | Medigap | Mini-med | OnlineNavigator | Pre-existing Condition | PPO | Prescription | Small Business | Supplemental | Supplemental | Temporary | Telemedicine | Travel
low cost health insurance
OnlineNavigator insurance enrollment supportNeed help?

We make it easy to get friendly, personal and help with health care reform questions through two fast support options:

Email support:
Email support is available 24/7 usually with same day response. Address your message to

Telephone support:
Schedule telephone support with a call back at your convenience.

OnlineNavigator support is an independent service offered by Tony Novak, CPA, MBA MT subject to the adviser's schedule availability. This support is not intended to replace the services offered and available through other channels by your insurance company, insurance agents and health insurance navigators. Specifically, this service does not replace  online pricing and enrollment functions, billing, claims or administrative services and does not assist with Medicare or Medicaid plans.

See the OnlineNavigator web site for details on privacy policy and terms of service. 

Covering the Gaps in Obamacare

AUIC Deductible Supplement Insurance - three defined dollar benefit levels to add protection for unexpected hospital bills and other medical expenses left uncovered by primary insurance
AUIC Qualified Health Plan Supplement Insurance - no need to fear the out-of-pocket cost of doctor visits, hospital charges and other expenses left by primary medical coverage.
Health plans and resources for diabetics - a listing of the health plan options and other resources
Core Health Insurance - the nation's most popular defined benefit health plans with guaranteed acceptance from US Fire Insurance Company
Value 24 Hour Accident - up to $10,000 of supplemental health insurance coverage for emergency treatment of injuries at a cost of about $2 per day. Can be used as a stand-alone coverage or added to other insurance.

Most Affordable Supplemental Coverage

Value Med Insurance - 3 question simple medical eligibility and immediate approval for supplemental doctor and hospital benefits

Primary Individual Major Medical Through a Private Exchange

Members Health Insurance Exchange allows you to price and choose from among many of the nations leading major medical health insurance options from a wide range of carriers. Personal help is available through OnlineNavigator to help with your selection.

Dental and Vision Insurance

Secure DentalOne - one lifetime deductible of $100 and then up to $1,250 per year coverage

Online Life Insurance

International Term Life - up to $2 million coverage issued by Lloyds online specifically for those who spend time outside of the US

Critical Illness and Cancer Insurance

Consumers Direct Critical Illness Insurance - Secure UpgradeSM $10,000 lump sum supplemental coverage for cancer, stroke or health disease for as little as $25 per month.

Florida health insurance news

by Tony Novak, CPA, MBA, MT     last updated: February 21, 2016

The two top priorities among individuals and small business who pay for their own health coverage is to find more affordable primary insurance and cover rapidly rising out-of-pocket medical costs that are not paid by primary health insurance.

Prior to implementation of the Affordable Care Act, more than 200 commercial insurance companies offered some type of health insurance and 20 companies issued small group insurance in Florida including one comprehensive and six supplemental guaranteed issue insurance plans available to applicants with significant pre-existing medical conditions. Florida does not have a high risk health insurance pool but does participate in the federal Pre-existing Condition Insurance Plan.

Since the passage of federal health insurance reform law, individuals and small businesses (with less than 50 employees) in Florida can now purchase health insurance through the federal heath insurance clearinghouse or through a number of privately operated insurance exchanges. The state government is likely to expand its own insurance exchange system in cooperation with either the federal or private systems within the next few years.

Non-insurance options, like Health Savings Accounts (HSA), Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRA) and Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA) can be added as effective cost-control tools; ask your adviser for more information.

This Web page lists some of the state's most popular low cost commercial health insurance and related benefit plans. Freedom Benefits offers professional personal assistance with any insurance exchange issue or health reform question through Your enrollment adviser is available to discuss suitability of any plan for your specific situation.

The state insurance exchange is open now for coverage starting in 2016, so individuals without insurance should make arrangements for temporary coverage until then. Covered health benefits under insurance purchased through the exchange in 2016 will be different than those offered though any 2015 health plans. The insurance plan that sets the benchmark for qualified coverage through the exchange is listed here and a list of state-mandated benefits can be found here.

Commercial insurance exchanges may also list less expensive insurance without the essential health benefits.

low cost health insurance

Florida insurance and benefit pricing

Florida has a high percentage of uninsured residents, perhaps more than a million people, compared with most other states.
The state has the 12th highest small business health insurance costs in the U.S. according to a 2010 Department of Health and Human Services report with an average premium of $1,038 per month for family coverage.

The state ranked #16 in physical wellbeing (having good health and enough energy to get things done daily) according to a 2015 Gallup Healthways survey.
Florida regulates the benefits required for both individual major medical and group health insurance plans, known as "mandated benefits".

Short Term Insurance

Markel Smart STM - popular and affordable short term major medical insurance with fast online approval
Secure STM - along with its 12 month and 36 month options, this may be the highest quality short term coverage
Secure Lite STM - the lowest priced major medical insurance for 1 to 12 months
Secure Saver STM - $2 million maximum coverage for 1-12 months at an ultra-low rate

Immigrant Insurance

Inbound Immigrant - up to five years of liberal health insurance coverage after immigration including maternity coverage, emergency and other essential benefits

Supplemental Accident Insurance

Consumers Direct Accident Medical - Protection UpgradeSM supplemental coverage for as little as $20 per month.
Consumers Direct Critical Illness Insurance - Secure UpgradeSM $10,000 lump sum supplemental coverage for cancer, stroke or health disease for as little as $25 per month.
Smart Accident Insurance - supplemental coverage for emergency treatment of accidents and injuries for as little as $20 per month. Can be used as a stand-alone accident plan or to increase other insurance benefits.

low cost health insurance

Florida insurance law and regulation

The state's insurance statues are available online in a consumer-friendly format. Florida Division of Consumer Service provides assistance and protections for health insurance buyers.  The Department's Web site includes a compilation of consumer insurance complaint statistics and an online complaint form.  Florida insurance law allows self-employed residents buy group health insurance for a one person business. This enrollment must be completed in August for an October effective date.
The Florida Department of Financial Services can be reached by telephone at 877-693-5236 or by mail at 200 East Gaines St., Tallahassee, FL 32399. The state children's health insurance plan (CHIP) Web site is Florida KidCare.

Small business plans

Florida has 2.2 million small businesses that employ roughly four out of five Floridians according to Jeff Atwater, the state's Chief Financial Officer. Freedom Benefits offers affordable flexible benefit plans for almost any situation.

Freedom Benefits offers professional help with setup of self-administered Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRA), Premium Reimbursement Plans, Flexible Spending Accounts, Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) and insurance at a low price than any small business can afford.

Non-insurance Discount Plans

Careington PPO Discount Plans - the nation's leading network PPO discount provider allows a no-risk trial of any discount plan for only a $20 processing fee
Drug Card America - a free prescription drug card that an be used nationwide
Essential Dental Solutions - simple, inexpensive, no waiting period, up to $500 treatment per year
Rx Pay Card - $10, $20, or $30 payments for hundreds of popular prescriptions.


CallMD - Doctors and nurses literally on call 24/7 to answer questions, help with medical screening and write prescriptions saving you money with the most common types of medical care. $20 per month covers everyone in the household.

International Coverage and Travel Insurance

Florida Insurance News

2/15/2016 Floridians covered by Humana and CarePlus health plans will be switched to Aetna More than a million Florida residents are affectedby Humana’s sale to Aetna as part of a corporate merger between two of the nation’s four largest health insurance companies. In Florida, the merger gives Aetna ownership of Humana’s large stake in government-sponsored insurance programs, including Medicare Advantage and Medicaid managed care plans.

12/31/2015 Cigna Inc. says that it has discovered two separate types of insurance fraud by Florida medical treatment facilities in conjunction with health insurance brokers that caused it to lose money and eventually pullout of the Florida health insurance marketplace. Apparently the providers promised free airfare to Florida and free treatment to out-of-state residents for drug treatment at facilities within the state. The scam used brokers to enroll the addicts in Florida health insurance at the expense of Cigna and others. Palm Beach Post published a series of investigative articles on this scam and related topics throughout the past year.

10/22/2015  Cigna Insurance will not be offering health insurance through the state insurance exchange in 2016.

2/20/2015 The Florida state health insurance exchange called Florida Health Choices cost $2.4 million and succeeded in enrolling only 42 people for 2015. That cost works out to about $60,000 per applicant. The federal health insurance exchange in Florida ( was far more successful and signed up many more applicants.

12/21/2014 The federal government stopped promoting the subsidized health insurance plans offered in Florida through its web site. The state exchange and private exchanges offer the same health insurance but without tax subsidies to lower the premium. Residents who purchase insurance without a premium subsidy can still claim a refund on their federal income tax return.

2/11/ 2014 Professional support for any health care reform issue is available free of charge through an arrangement with OnlineNavigator. All online inquiries are handled personally by Tony Novak, CPA. Online support is available through a number of popular social media channels including Facebook and Google+ as well as e-mail. Telephone support for insurance enrollment is available through Members Insurance Exchange at (800) 609-0683.

8/13/2013 The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation released information last week projecting that individual monthly health insurance premiums will rise 30 to 40 percent next year. The rate increases are attributed to insurance changes required by the Affordable Care Act of 2010 known as Obamacare.

7/26/2013 Affordable Smart Term Life Insurance is now available to most Florida residents from age 20 through 60 directly online with no physical exam, agent appointment or telephone verification. Most policies are issued on the same day with coverage amounts of $25,000 up to $350,000. The level premium life insurance is available for terms of 10, 15, 20 and 30 years. Sample rates for $150,000 coverage for a preferred risk male age 30, non-tobacco $30.85 per month; tobacco user $49.55 per month. A preferred risk female age 30 non-tobacco user would be $26.49 per month and a tobacco user would be $40.96 per month. Rates are higher for older applicants and lower health risks as described online. Pricing is based on input you provide about your medical history but, unlike most other life insurers, does not consider family medical history. Coverage is issued by innovative National Life Group, rated "A" by A.M. Best Company for 2013.

4/2/2013 Palm Beach County reports that a cost-subsidized health insurance program offered at a premium of $52 per month to low income residents who were not eligible for Medicaid enrolled less than 500 people over the past year.

3/6/2013 This page was updated to include a link to the insurance plan that will be used to determine specific "essential health benefits" for insurance that qualified for 2014 federal tax purposes. Also, a link to additional covered benefits required by state law. Non-qualified insurance is likely to continue to be available at a lower cost that does not include these benefits nor qualify for federal tax purposes.

7/28/2012 Economic recovery data - Florida’s unemployment rate is now 8.6%, the lowest level since December 2008. While a shrinking labor force has contributed to this decline, a number of metrics confirm that Florida’s labor market is improving. This includes total nonfarm payroll employment in Florida, another yardstick for job creation, which has expanded by 70,900 jobs in the last twelve months. Florida lost about 750,000 in the recession since 2009 and only part of these have been recovered so far. Florida’s small and medium-sized businesses are a major driving force in the Florida economy, accounting for nearly 62% of new job growth in the state in 2010-2012. Freedom Benefits is focused on providing affordable flexible benefit plan solutions for Florida's small businesses.

7/3/2012 Florida Governor Rick Scott said that the Affordable Care Act is "devastating for patients" and will not implement portions of the law. The recent Supreme Court ruling allows states to decline expansion of Medicaid programs and the Governor intends to prevent that expansion. On Fox News the Governor added "Government health care programs, everywhere in the world, do three things: They promise you the world, they say, 'Oh, we're going to cover everything.' Then what they do is they run out of money and they underpay hospitals, doctors and guess what happens? They don't want to take care of you. ... If you care about patients, this is devastating for you."  

6/25/2012 Last week Michigan State University dropped its requirement that students maintain a specific type of health insurance after opposition from state lawmakers. We expect that University of Florida will eventually follow in the same manner. Freedom Benefits has previously voiced the opinion that the current requirement goes beyond the limits of law or common sense financial planning. Current Florida law requires that students maintain specific insurance benefits that are not available in the state's commercial insurance market except through the policy sold through the University. This effectively creates a monopoly in student health insurance. Some opponents of the University's policy believe that the conflict of interest created by the student insurance mandate generating insurance marketing revenue to the University may be a violation of federal education funding rules.

2/24/2012 The federal government announced that enrollment in the state's Pre-existing Condition Insurance Plan (PCIP) grew to almost 4,000 after the premium rates were reduced in July 2011. The federal government reported that only 770 Florida residents were reported enrolled in the PCIP as of July 1 2011 but the year-end report shows that 3,736 had now joined the plan. The federal government pays most of the cost of this insurance; individuals contribute up to $505 per month. The federal government is expected to pay an average of $28,994 for each person enrolled in the PCIP plan in 2012 out of a $5 billion dollar budget established by the 2010 federal health reform law. More than 75% of this expense is expected to be for cancer care including surgery and chemotherapy. An average premium for an adult is only $363 per month; less than most commercial insurance plans. The maximum you will pay out-of-pocket for covered services in a calendar year is $5,950 in-network/$7,000 out-of-network. This plan covers the sickest of the state's residents representing 1/10 of 1% of the state's 3.8 million uninsured residents. Freedom Benefits supports enrollment in the PCIP through its OnlineNavigator service for those who want professional help. There is a fee of $50 for this service but individuals may enroll in the PCIP without charge online at

2/1/2012 The Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight, a division of the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) reported that as of June 30, 2011 Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida, UnitedHealthcare and Aetna are the state's largest health insurance providers and as such, earn the right to set the benchmark for the development of the state's essential benefit plans to debut in 2014 under health reform law.

10/28/2011 American Republic Insurance Company and World Insurance Company are leaving Florida and will no longer issue or renew individual insurance policies in the state. According to a source at the Office of Insurance Regulation policyholders will be able to convert their coverage to a policy issued by Celtic Insurance Company under similar terms and conditions.

2/12/2011 With dozens of health plans choices available online offering a wide range of pricing and benefits, how do you find the best combination of price and benefits? Celtic Insurance realizes that the choices can be overwhelming; the company offers more than 40 possible health plan designs in many parts of the United States. A new feature called "Help Me Choose" lets users easily and quickly select the benefits they value most and narrows the list down to a few of the best choices. No personal information is required other than zip code and date of birth.

2/7/2011 (Editor's Note: These rates were reduced in July 2011). The state's pre-existing condition insurance plan (PCIP) monthly premium rates (per person) for January 2011:

Plan/Age Band
























PCIP will cover a broad range of health benefits, including primary and specialty care, hospital care, and prescription drugs. All covered benefits are available for you, beginning on your coverage effective date, even if it’s to treat a pre-existing condition - there are no waiting periods. PCIP applicants who are approved to participate in PCIP can choose from three plan options, with different levels of premiums, calendar year deductibles, prescription deductibles and prescription copays. The HSA Option provides an opportunity to open a Health Savings Account, a tax-exempt account where you can deposit funds for eligible medical expenses. Each of the three PCIP plan options provides preventive care (paid at 100%, with no deductible) when you see an in-network doctor and the doctor indicates preventive diagnosis. Included are annual physicals, flu shots, routine mammograms and cancer screenings. For other care, you will pay a deductible before PCIP pays for your health care and prescriptions. After you pay the deductible, you will pay 20% of medical costs in-network. The maximum you will pay out-of-pocket for covered services in a calendar year is $5,950 in-network/$7,000 out-of-network. There is no lifetime maximum or cap on the amount the plan pays for your care. If you apply for PCIP coverage on the government Web site, you will be billed for the premium once your application is approved. You will need to send in your payment in order for your coverage to be effective. Please do not send in the premium before you are billed. Note that your premium may increase if you age into a higher rate tier, or if PCIP adjusts its premiums to any changes in the commercial market.

2/3/2011 Florida halted the development of a public health insurance exchange following the recent federal court decision to nullify the Patient Protection Affordable Care Act of 2010 in its entirety. In a statement issued yesterday, Florida's insurance commissioner did not say what use would be made of federal funds already received for the development of the insurance exchange. This announcement is not expected to affect the development of commercial insurance exchanges like Freedom Benefits that are not dependent on the federal grant for development or implementation. Consumers will likely be affected by the lack of uniformity in interpretation of the health reform law's provisions while an appeal of the decision is pending before the Supreme Court.

1/30/2011 Patients with health insurance and a credit card now have access to VIP treatment when care is needed at a hospital emergency room. University Community Hospital-Carrollwood in Tampa, Parrish Medical Center in Titusville, and MedFast Urgent Care Center in Port St. John joined the growing list of hospitals that allows patients to use InQuickER, a reservation system that books appointments and reduces waiting time in the emergency room. The reservation system makes check-in easier by recording your insurance and payment information in advance. The service costs $15 to $25. Of course the nature unpredictable medical emergencies mean that the service cannot absolutely guarantee that you'll be seen immediately at your appointment time, but you get a full refund if not treated within 15 minutes after arrival. The InQuickER service works in conjunction with any of the private health insurance plans listed here at but is not available to uninsured patients.

12/16/2010 Florida Agency for Health Care Administration officials met representatives of 44 other states and numerous employees of the federal Health and Human Services Department in Washington DC this week for a two-day working meeting to discuss the next steps in establish a government-run health insurance exchange under the American Health Benefit Exchange Model Act. Their attendance at this meeting was paid for by a $1 million federal grant awarded by HHS in September to the state for research how to set up an insurance exchange. Two states (Alaska and Minnesota) declined to participate, saying that it was a waste of taxpayer money. Four other states (not identified in press reports) that received federal grants did not send representatives to the meeting. Attendees included representatives of 16 states that are suing the federal government in an attempt to overturn the federal health reform law; specifically the requirement that forces individuals to buy health insurance on the insurance exchange or pay a hefty tax fine.

In its initial federal grant request for the insurance exchange project, the Agency for Health Care Administration said that it would: 1) Research the estimated number of currently uninsured individuals as well as those entitled to tax credits, cost sharing through the Exchange, those eligible for Medicaid or employer-sponsored coverage, 2) Create a Technical Advisory Work Group to assist the implementation of the Exchange and how it will build upon current State and Federal programs, 3) Address whether Florida should have its own Exchange, join a regional Exchange or elect to have a Federal Exchange, and 4) Identify legislative and regulatory needs.

The meeting reportedly did not address the role of the commercial health insurance exchanges on the implementation of new competing government systems. The model act does not address inter-state insurance exchange proposals nor insurance sales across state lines. Federal officials admitted that they may not be able to provide further guidance until 2012. Meanwhile, most states are motivated to continue to meet requirements to obtain additional funding promised by the federal government for the establishment of insurance exchange by 2014. Freedom Benefits has previously voiced the opinion that the huge amount of money being spent to set up alternate insurance sales system technologies could be better used providing health benefits to the public. We proposed on the Universal Health Insurance blog that adequate commercial insurance sales systems are already in place that could be modified in a public/private partnership to make health insurance more affordable.

12/5/2010 Fifteen commercial insurance companies recognized by the state to provide individual major medical health insurance plans in Florida in 2011. These are Aetna Life Insurance Company, American Republic Insurance Company, Best Life and Health Insurance Company, Celtic Insurance Company, Continental General Insurance Company, Fidelity Security Life Insurance Company, Freedom Life Insurance Company of America, Golden Rule Insurance Company, Humana Health Insurance Company of Florida, John Alden Life Insurance Company, Mega Life & Health Insurance Company, Mid-West National Life Insurance Company of TN, Time Insurance Company, United American Insurance Company, and World Insurance Company. Most individual policies are medically underwritten through an out-of-state group master policy and may not be included on any insurance exchange. Contact the Department of Financial Services Consumer Services Division at 1-877-693-5236 to confirm whether a company is licensed to issue any other type of coverage.

9/14/2010 A new blog post titled "Fast Facts on Florida KidCare Insurance" summarizes the four programs available and explains how it can be supplemented to improve overall coverage to address a common concern with these public insurance programs.

5/14/2010 Diabetes Coverage: A new resource to help find health insurance for diabetics in Florida is now available at Freedom Benefits.

3/23/2010 Florida is leading ten other states including Alabama, Michigan, Nebraska, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah and Washington in a joint legal challenge to the federal health reform bill on the basis that it improperly usurps state sovereignty over health insurance and that requiring health insurance is an illegal and improper government action.

Mission Statement| Editorial Policy| Privacy Policy| About Freedom Benefits| News| Investors

This web site is independently owned and managed by Tony Novak operating under the trademarks "Freedom Benefits", "OnlineAdviser" and "OnlineNavigator". Opinions expressed are the sole responsibility of the author and do not represent the opinion of any other person, company or entity mentioned. Tony Novak is not an agent, broker, producer or navigator for any federal or state health insurance exchange but may provide uncompensated advice, reviews and referrals to these official resources. Novak is compensated as an accountant, adviser, affiliate consultant, marketer, reviewer, endorser, producer, lead generator or referrer to some of the other commercial companies listed on this site. Information is from sources believed to be reliable but cannot be guaranteed.