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Sunshine State Health Insurance Anecdata

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So recently, had a client move to Orlando, and asked for a referral to a local health insurance agent (since I’m not licensed for Florida). I reached out to some folks who might be of help, including a couple relatives. One very helpful kin had this to say about the state of individual medical plans there:

We don’t have an agent. About 2 yrs ago Florida Blue, the only insurance provider in our area, drastically cut commissions so independent agents are almost non existent. Do you know where he is moving? Basically the way I approach it is to find the insurance company with the best network (in Florida there are only two main cancer centers – Shands and Moffett). If you get in a narrow network you could end up in trouble if you have an unusual health problem since the local expertise may not be that good.

I think Florida hospital is pretty good in Orlando but if you have something unusual you may need to go to Moffett in Tampa. I would just be sure the network includes Moffett. Florida Blue likely has plans in Orlando and basically you buy a policy from them using salaried agents on their staff. I would caution them against getting a narrow network plan that does not include Moffett or Shands. It will be cheaper but they could end up with a bad outcome from not having the right expertise on your side. With [your sister's] illness dealing with Shands was a pleasure. Not just the quality of care but no financial hanky panky which is common in Florida.”

I mentioned that salaried carrier sales folks makes sense, since The Blues are (apparently) the only game in town, and got this reply:

What happened is that they cut commissions to such a low level most agents quit selling health policies including mine.”

Ah, yes, we’re quite familiar with the concept.

Interesting, no?

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