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Healthcare Insurance FloridaHealthcare Coverage Florida - FAQs

Do you need Health Care Insurance?

GreatFlorida Insurance is committed to helping Floridians make informed decisions about their health care. Health insurance is designed to protect individuals and families from the high costs of health care.

Whether you are facing a pre-existing health condition, an emergency situation or just want preventative and wellness care, health insurance will pay part of your costs.

GreatFlorida Insurance offers coverage through Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida, also known as Florida Blue.

We can help clear up any confusion about recent health reform, the Affordable Care Act, (ACA) and answer any of your questions concerning health care.

How does health insurance work?

Your health insurance plan is a contract between you and your insurance company.

You pay a monthly bill called a premium for the health plan and the insurance company agrees to pay part of the costs for covered medical services.

Blue Cross Blue Shield has four levels of coverage, bronze, silver, gold and platinum.

The plans have varying costs and coverage to meet your needs and budget. Another option includes a Catastrophic Plan for single people under 30 who qualify through financial hardships.

GreatFlorida Insurance can help you understand your choice of plans and options for health care through Florida Blue.

We will help you apply for and enroll in a plan that works best for you.

Affordable Care Act

In March 2010, President Obama signed into law, comprehensive health reform, Affordable Care Act, (ACA). The law makes preventative care more accessible and affordable for many Americans.

The health care law is designed to provide better benefits and expanding coverage while creating a stronger Medicare program.

What if I do not get health insurance in 2014?

If you can afford health insurance but choose not to buy it, you will be penalized and must pay a fee. The fee in 2014 is 1 percent of your yearly income or $95 per person for the year, whichever is higher.

The fee increases every year. In 2016 it is 2.5 percent of income or $695 per person, whichever is higher. In 2014 the payment for uninsured children is $47.50 per child.

New Options Include:

Floridians can find out if they are eligible for lower costs for private insurance or health programs like Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program, (CHIP) and enroll in health coverage.

Parents can keep their children on their health insurance policy until they turn 26 years old.

Insurers can no longer deny coverage to children because of pre-existing conditions such as asthma or diabetes.

In 2014, health insurers will no longer be able to charge more or deny coverage to anyone with a pre-existing condition.

Health insurance companies now have to spend at least 80 cents of your premium dollar on health care or improvements to care or provide you with a refund.

Insurance companies are required to publicly justify their actions if they want to raise rates by 10 percent or more.

Insurance companies are banned from imposing lifetime dollar limits on health benefits. The law also restricts the use of annual limits and bans them completely in 2014.

Preventative services such as colonoscopy screening for colon cancer, Pap smears and mammograms for women, well-child visits and flu shots for all children and adults, will be covered with no deductible or co-pay required.

Increases funding to community health centers

Strengthens Medicare Program

Increasing coverage for brand name and generic drugs

No deductibles or co-pays for preventative services seniors and people with disabilities

Extends the life of the Medicare Trust Fund by ten years

Simply call 888-478-7801 or complete our online quote request form. A GreatFlorida Health Care Insurance Agent in Florida will help you find the best deal for you.

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Call 888-478-7801

About Healthcare Insurance in Florida

You might be the picture of health, or have suffered with health issues for years. No matter your situation, there is no denying Florida residents need health insurance.

GreatFlorida Insurance can help you navigate through the process of selecting the right coverage level for you and your family.  Our relationship with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida or Florida Blue, offers our customers quality healthcare services with a broad range of network doctors and healthcare specialist in Florida.

Your Local Agent at GreatFlorida Insurance Florida will explain the new healthcare laws, plan features and benefits as well as co-pays and deductibles. We will make sure to find a plan that fits your budget while leaving you feeling comfortable about your future healthcare plan.

Your local GreatFlorida Insurance Agent in Florida can help you find the right Healthcare Insurance policy at the right price. more...

Healthcare Insurance Florida Blog
by GreatFlorida Insurance

GreatFlorida Insurance previously posted an article on the importance of getting adequate sleep. This article will focus on tips that will help you get to sleep and stay asleep throughout the night.

“Forty-five percent of Americans say that poor or insufficient sleep affected their daily activities at least once in the past seven days,” according to the National Sleep Foundation. “Don’t let sleeplessness become the norm for you, hopefully the tips below can help you get a good’s night sleep,” says Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s largest independent healthcare insurance agency.


  • Stick to a consistent sleep-wake schedule, even on the weekends and holidays. This will help to regulate your body’s circadian rhythm.
  • Watch the cocktails. Drinking alcohol will make you sleepy at first but can disrupt your sleep later in the evening.
  • Create a bedtime ritual. Marinating a schedule at night will tell your body it is time to wind down. Try a bath or shower, reading, prayer, mediation or just taking deep breaths to ease the transition between wakefulness and drowsiness.
  • Create a relaxed environment. Most people sleep better when a room is clutter free, dark, quiet and cool (60-67 degrees). If you sleep with someone, make sure you both have plenty of room. Limit bedtime visits from children and pets. Invest in a comfortable bed, bedding and pillow. Synthetic pillows should be replaced every six months to a year, down pillows every two to five years. Make sure they are consistent with your preferred sleep position.
  • Physical activity promotes better sleep. Exercise even performed earlier in the day, helps you fall asleep faster and enjoy deeper sleep.
  • Manage your stress and anxiety. If your mind is racing with thoughts and activity try writing it all down before you turn your lights out.
  • Make sure your extremities are warm. If your feet are cold, slip on a pair of socks.
  • Lavender oil or lavender spray is reported to have calming effects to prepare you for sleep. Prevention reports, researchers have found, lavender slows down the heartbeat and causes muscles to relax.
  • Limit liquids, it is good to stay hydrated but drinking too much before bed will keep you up in the bathroom.
  • If you are not asleep after 15-20 minutes, don’t stress out. Find a quiet activity to do until you are sleepy. Reading is great, but not if it is a thriller.

If a good night’s sleep is allusive, it is good to check in with your physician to make sure you are not suffering from a sleep disorder.

GreatFlorida Insurance can craft a health insurance policy to suit your budget and lifestyle, give us a call today.



The post How to Get a Good’s Night Sleep appeared first on The GreatFlorida Insurance Blog.

by GreatFlorida Insurance

Sleeping is good. Unfortunately, many of us are just not getting enough of it.

“Sleep plays a crucial role in maintaining good health and overall well-being,” says Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s largest independent health insurance agency.

Importance of Sleep

To some, sleep may seem unproductive. However, during this time our bodies and brains are hard at work supporting our mental and physical health. Research shows sleep helps us to make better decisions, spark creativity, pay attention and aid in problem solving.

It also helps to control our emotions and behavior. Pediatric neurologist and sleep specialist, Dr. Shai Marcu explains in his TED-Ed lesson, “How sleep restructures your brain in a way that’s crucial for how our memory works.”

Sleep not only benefits brain function, but is critical to the function of our organs. It improves circulation, restores our immune system and promotes growth and development in teens and children, playing a role in puberty and fertility. During this time our muscles, heart and blood vessels receive healing and repair.


Obstacles to Sleep

While most people long for a good night’s sleep, culprits such as stress, illness and hormones, along with bad habits can sabotage your nighttime plan.

“If you have trouble sleeping, talk to your doctor about your prescription medication,” advises Buck with GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s top independent health care insurance agency. A side-effect to certain medications could be robbing you of vital sleep. Oral contraceptives, steroids, antidepressants, along with pseudoephedrine, diet pills, high blood-pressure and breathing medications can contribute to a lack of sleep.

Just as sleep benefits our physical and mental health, a lack of sleep has detrimental effects. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), sleep deficiency can lead to depression, risk-taking behavior and suicide. “Ongoing sleep deficiency is linked to an increased risk of obesity, heart disease, kidney disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and stroke.

After all, being sleep deprived is no way to live. If you are not feeling rested after a night’s sleep, you should talk to your doctor to see if you have a sleep disorder or other health problem.


The post Go to Sleep appeared first on The GreatFlorida Insurance Blog.

by GreatFlorida Insurance

If your kids don’t like needles, we have some bad news.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) along with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) back the flu shot over the flu nasal spray. Their professionals do not feel the nasal flu spray effectively protects against the spread of the flu this season.

“Getting a shot will not come as welcome news to children but we hope it does not deter parents from getting a flu vaccination for their kids,” says Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s largest independent health insurance agency.

Recent studies by the CDC, reveal the flu nasal spray, FluMist did not protect against certain flu strains. Researchers have concluded, last year only three percent of children ages 2-17 reaped its benefits. In comparison, the injected vaccine proved 63 percent effective. Furthermore, studies show the ineffectiveness of FluMist over the past three flu seasons.

More than a third of all children vaccinated received the flu nasal spray last year. FluMist is a weakened form of a live virus strain sprayed into the nose. Astra Zeneca, the manufacturer of FluMist continues to stand behind their product. They said in a statement that it disputes the CDC’s findings. Astra Zeneca claims the effectiveness rate of FluMist is 46 to 58 percent.


The flu can develop into serious illness. “The flu shot is covered at no cost to the patient by most health insurance plans, including Medicare Part B,” reminds Buck from GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s leading independent health insurance agency.

Additionally, the CDC urges that everyone 6 months and older receive a shot for the 2016- 2017 flu season. They advise children with medical conditions including asthma and diabetes get vaccinated to reduce their risk of flu complications. Also, healthcare personnel and child care providers should receive a shot.

Likewise, pregnant women should get vaccinated. The shot is safe at any point in the pregnancy. Expectant mothers can get very sick if they get the flu.  Also, vaccinated moms can pass some protection to their baby.

You can get a flu shot this year from October 2016 (possibly earlier) until June 2017.

The flu vaccine is convenient.  Find it available at many pharmacies, walk-in clinics, public health facilities and your doctor’s office.

To keep updated of national and state flu activity, check out the Florida Health Department’s web page at: http://www.floridahealth.gov/diseases-and-conditions/influenza/index.html.

GreatFlorida Insurance is committed to helping Floridians stay healthy. Our experienced agents can offer you  quality health insurance policies to fit your needs while staying within your budget. Call us at 888-478-7801 or go online to www.greatflorida.com for a free quote today.


The post Doctors Against the Flu Nasal Spray appeared first on The GreatFlorida Insurance Blog.

by GreatFlorida Insurance

You are having difficulty breathing, you are experiencing agonizing pain in your side, or your baby is howling and pulling at his ear-this is not when you want to try and find a doctor. A trip to the emergency room can cost you a significant amount of time and money. Your local walk-in clinic is closed. You need a personal physician who can help.

“Whether you are new to town, are dealing with a new health insurance policy, have a new baby or are just ready for a second opinion on your well-being, selecting a doctor can be intimidating,” says Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of Great Florida Insurance, Florida’s largest independent healthcare insurance agency.

Generally speaking, word of mouth is the most common method for choosing a doctor. Ask around and see who the people in your life recommend. Review sites and online tools, such as the “doctor finder,” provided by the American Medical Association, can help in your search for a referral.

If you have healthcare insurance check to see what doctors are “in-network.” These healthcare providers will have discounted rates so you pay less out of pocket.

Likewise, some logistical information to think about includes:

Where is the doctor’s office located?

Do you want a doctor close to home or close to your office?

What are their office hours and what days are they open?

What hospital are they associated with?

Can you get a last minute appointment if you are sick?

Is someone accessible in you have an important medical question after office hours?

Do they communicate online or via email?  

What is their primary language?


“When looking for a doctor it is important to find a professional who is caring and communicates well,” says Buck, of Great Florida Insurance, Florida’s top independent healthcare insurance agency. “Competency is also a crucial variable.”

A caring doctor should take the time to listen and ask questions. They will talk to you in a manner that you understand. But, do not let their bedside manner replace the importance of skill and ability. Competency is paramount. Check your potential physician’s education and see if they are board certified.

There are several types of physicians that are considered primary care physicians. Blue Cross Blue Shield helps to define the difference so you can choose the best for you and your family.

Pediatrician– Provides health, physical, behavior and mental health care for children.

Family Practice– A family practice physician treats patients of all ages. They treat a wide variety of conditions as well as some that would normally require a specialist.

Internal Medicine– An internal medicine doctor cares for adults and specializes in prevention, diagnosis and management of disease and chronic conditions.

General Practitioner– These physicians treat any age or gender. You can also find specialty doctors in this category, such as osteopaths. Osteopath doctors specialize in the study of the musculoskeletal system.

Looking for a doctor when you are experiencing a health crisis is not a good plan, being proactive will pay off.

GreatFlorida Insurance can help you select the right healthcare insurance for you and your family. Our partnership with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida offers our customers top quality healthcare services, from a large selection of healthcare providers in Florida.

GreatFlorida Insurance is a authorized vendor of health insurance for Blue Cross & Blue Shield.

GreatFlorida Insurance is a authorized vendor of health insurance for Blue Cross & Blue Shield.

The post Tips for Selecting a Doctor appeared first on The GreatFlorida Insurance Blog.

by GreatFlorida Insurance

The General Mills Flour recall linked to an E. coli outbreak is making its way into other foods, causing several products to be removed from store shelves. Experts believe more recalls will come as a result of the tainted flour.

“Seniors, the young and those with a compromised immune system are at a greater risk for developing food borne illnesses,” said Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s largest independent healthcare insurance agency.

So far, 42 have been reported as being sick across 21 states from E. coli. This particular strain, E. coli 0121, is a potentially deadly strain of bacteria that causes bloody diarrhea and dehydration.

Recalled products include:cake-mix-recall

  • Gold Medal Flour
  • Gold Medal Wondra flour
  • Signature Kitchens Flour
  • Betty Crocker Delights Super Moist Party Rainbow Chip Cake Mix
  • Betty Crocker Delights Super Moist Carrot Cake Mix
  • Krusteaz Blueberry Pancake Mix
  • Marie Callender’s Cheese Biscuit mix
  • Kabob’s Acquisitions Pre- Made Appetizers
  • For more information on the recalled products, click here:


General Mills has expanded the recall, “out of an abundance of caution.” Many of the products were made with the possibly tainted flour. The most recently reported illnesses are linked to the consumption of raw cake batter.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warns against eating raw dough or raw baking mixes due to uncooked flour. “Most people are familiar with warnings against raw mixes because of raw eggs and the link to salmonella, says Buck with GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s leading independent health insurance agency.

“General Mills initially recalled 10 million pounds of flour, but expanded that to include another 20 million pounds after lab tests linked more of the flour to the outbreak,” reports Food Safety News. General Mills is working with health officials to ensure safety to its customers.

GreatFlorida Insurance provides reliable and affordable health insurance to Floridians across the state. Contact us today for a free quote.


The post General Mills Expands Flour Recall to Other Brands appeared first on The GreatFlorida Insurance Blog.