Governor DeSantis signs health insurance changes

(Photo courtesy of The Office of Sen. Pat Toomey)

Gov. Ron DeSantis on Wednesday signed into law a bill that could lead to a revamp of the health-insurance program for state employees.

The measure (HB 1113) authorizes the state Department of Management Services to analyze current contracts with health maintenance organizations, preferred provider organizations and prescription drug programs and develop a plan to procure new contracts for benefits beginning in 2023.

The law authorizes limiting the number of HMOs in the employee-insurance program and allowing plans to be competitively procured on a regional basis, similar to what is done in the Medicaid program.

The change is significant, in part, because more than half of the people enrolled in the program --- or 53 percent --- chose to enroll in HMOs.

The new law also requires the state to put in place a prescription-drug formulary in the employee-insurance program. DeSantis signed the bill at CenterOne Surgery Center in Jacksonville, where the governor said he had rotator-cuff surgery.

The bill creates also creates the Patient Savings Act, which will allow health insurers to create an incentive program to encourage policyholders to shop for health services and share in savings that result.