Scott backs off HMO limit

TALLAHASSEE, FLA. (AP) — Florida is offering thousands of state workers a choice in their health care plans as part of a settlement it has reached to end a legal battle.

The Scott administration this summer signed off on new contracts that would restrict state workers to one health maintenance organization per county starting in January. Scott said the move would save $400 million.

Three HMOs contested the move. State officials on Wednesday announced an agreement that would allow state workers in six counties — including Miami-Dade and Palm Beach — to choose between two HMOs instead of one. More than 23,000 state workers will still be forced to switch HMOs.

One HMO — United HealthCare of Florida — is not part of the settlement. It is appealing a ruling that dismissed its protest.

Source: Associated Press