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Senate 'Primary Care' Plan Cuts Out Insurers

Bill Branson
National Cancer Institute

A Senate Republican on Monday filed a proposal that could help lead to doctors and patients entering "direct primary care agreements" that would cut out insurers.

Sen. Denise Grimsley, R-Sebring, filed the bill (SB 132), which largely mirrors a bill (HB 37) filed early this month by Rep. Fred Costello, R-Ormond Beach. The measures will be considered during the 2016 legislative session, which starts in January.

Sen. Denise Grimsley, R-Sebring
Credit Florida Senate
Sen. Denise Grimsley, R-Sebring

The House during a June special session approved a direct primary-care bill, but the Senate did not take up the measure.

Direct primary-care agreements are contracts between patients and doctors that remove the role of insurers in making payments.

The bills, at least in part, would make clear that the agreements are not regulated by state insurance laws.

Under the agreements, patients would pay monthly fees for services such as annual physicals, routine laboratory tests and vaccinations and then could get the services without additional charges. The agreements could be coupled with insurance policies that cover high-cost treatments and illnesses and lengthy hospitalizations.

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