Florida set up its own website to help the uninsured purchase health care, but after six months only 30 people have signed up for it, and seven of them have since canceled their plans.
Florida put $900,000 into the project, called Florida Health Choices, while declining to expand Medicaid or partner with the federal government and create a state exchange which would use Healthcare.gov.
The Miami Herald reports:
These numbers are dwarfed by the nearly 764,000 Floridians who are too poor to afford subsidized plans, yet can't qualify for Medicaid under Florida's stringent standards. They are supposed to be the target market for Health Choices.
But Health Choices doesn't sell comprehensive health insurance to protect consumers from big-ticket medical costs such as hospitalization. Instead, it has limited benefit options and discount plans for items like dentist visits, prescription drugs and eyeglasses.
The plan's biggest backer in the Legislature blames the lack of business on the federal Affordable Care Act, which feature comprehensive plans with varying subsidies for those who qualify.
"Obviously we wanted more (business), but the competition is giving it away for free," said state Sen. Aaron Bean, R-Fernandina Beach.