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Senate committee in Florida to consider health exchange program

A proposal currently before the Florida Senate committee could change the way low-income residents in our state get access to health care coverage by creating a health care exchange program called the Florida Health Insurance Affordability Exchange Program. The proposal is one solution that has been presented in response to President Obama's promise to provide federal funding to Florida "if the state agreed to expand Medicaid eligibility to cover more low-income people," explains an article in the Jacksonville Business Journal.

Although the goal of the new proposal is to help the same group of low-income residents who would be covered if Medicaid were expanded, proponents of the bill say the system would work differently than Medicaid because it would create some restrictions such as the need to show employment or proof that an individual is pursuing an education or is receiving on-the-job training.

Most people know how important it is to get access to health care as you age. But because most retirees have a fixed income, finding affordable health care becomes a necessity. Depending on the restrictions presented in this bill and whether it passes the legislative hurdles before it, some of our low-income readers might benefit from the creation of the FHIX program. That's because it would create a pathway to affordable health care for those who have low or fixed incomes.

As many of our more frequent readers know, programs like Medicaid or the desired FHIX program are merely forms of assistance. Florida residents should still save and plan prior to their retirements for the inevitable fact that they will more than likely need health care as they age. Saving early and often, coupled with the help of programs like Medicaid, is a good way to make sure that you have access to the health care you need down the road.

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