GOP reps kept their insurance rates low, but rejected Medicaid funds

May 14, 2013 at 3:29 PM

TALLAHASSEE, Fla., May 14 (UPI) -- Republicans in the Florida House voted to keep their own premiums very low but rejected federal money to provide health insurance for the poor.

The House voted last month to keep premiums for their state-subsidized healthcare at $8.34 a month, or $30 a month for their families, the Tampa Bay Times reported Monday.

House Republicans had wanted to charge poor Floridians $25 a month for a limited number of doctor visits or preventive care, rejecting an offer of billions in federal tax dollars to provide health insurance for 1 million Floridians.

The monthly premium paid by House members is one-sixth of what state senators and state workers pay, and a tenth the average cost in the private sector, the Kaiser Family Foundation said.

House Speaker Will Weatherford would not comment on why members did not raise their rates to match those of the Senate, but said in a statement they "are looking forward to addressing it next session."

State records show the insurance premiums for each House member subsidized at $600 a month. In an offered HMO plan, they have no deductible and a $20 co-pay to see a doctor.

House Republicans had proposed a $25 monthly premium and a $2,000 annual state contribution for parents and disabled individuals who make less than $11,490 a year.

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