What does the Website reveal about health insurance in the state?
The website reveals that the Florida health insurance market has a number of options that are available to the state’s residents. For instance, employer-sponsored coverage is available for people working in the majority of companies; those who are not eligible for employer-sponsored coverage can obtain private insurance through the federal exchange (HealthCare.org, 2017). In addition, individual Obamacare insurance plans are available to eligible Florida residents (HealthCare.org, 2017). The Florida Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) is also available to eligible families and provides low-cost pediatric health insurance (HealthCare.org, 2017).
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What is listed about general health statistics of the population in the state?
The website provides limited information on the state of healthcare in Florida. The authors state that population health remains one of the crucial challenges that the state has been struggling to overcome for a long period of time (HealthCare.org, 2017). The web page identifies some specific issues with regards to health care providers in Florida, such as the fact that a significant share of residents lacks health insurance and adheres to unhealthy living habits (HealthCare.org, 2017).
The website does not provide any health statistics, although it states that Florida was ranked 32 out of 50 states by population health (HealthCare.org, 2017). Some of the issues faced by Florida are due to the fact that the state decided to expand its Medicaid program only partially: “While many states have expanded Medicaid to single, low-income adults since Obamacare took effect, Florida has not” (HealthCare.org, 2017, para. 3). This justifies the fact that a relatively large proportion of people remain uninsured despite the Obamacare Act.
What is the state’s position on health care reform? What is/was the support for reform? Is the debate ongoing?
The website states that Florida “elected to participate in the federally facilitated marketplace” when the Affordable Care Act took effect (HealthCare.org, 2017, para. 2). The ACA-compliant insurance plans allow residents of the state to seek financial assistance based on their level of income (HealthCare.org, 2017). This helps to make health insurance plans more affordable to the general population by lowering monthly premiums and health care expenses (HealthCare.org, 2017). However, a large share of vulnerable populations remains uninsured due to the state’s decision to halt the expansion of Medicaid (HealthCare.org, 2017).
Overall, the state’s decision regarding the health care reform was a difficult one. The KFF (2013) reports that Florida has been “the leading opponent of the Affordable Care Act (ACA)” (para. 7). However, in 2013 the state Governor Rick Scott announced that citizens with income levels between 100% – 400% FPL would be allowed to request subsidies to purchase health insurance (KFF, 2013). However, the state is yet to expand its Medicaid coverage to the most vulnerable populations, including single parents with income below 100% FPL.
What do you anticipate will be the influence of health care reform on your practice in this state?
The main impact of the healthcare reform on nursing practice in Florida is the increase in the number of patients. As the number of physicians available remains roughly the same, the increasing number of people seeking medical care may trigger the growth of the nurses’ workload and scope of responsibilities. Although this may help to gain more valuable experience in clinical practice, the increased stress may lead to burnout and impair the treatment outcomes. Another change brought on by the health care reform is the change of financing scheme and the introduction of a fixed payment per patient, regardless of the condition.
In order to reduce the costs, the hospitals may seek to offer less expensive treatment and diagnostics options, which creates a major ethical dilemma for all the medical personnel involved. Finally, the expansion of Medicaid and the introduction of more financing opportunities for people with lower incomes will lead to the change in demographics of the patients. For instance, the patient population may become more culturally or ethnically diverse, requiring nurses to develop cultural competence and ensure fair treatment for the patients of all backgrounds.
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HealthCare.org. (2017). Florida health insurance.
The Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF). (2013). The Florida health care landscape.