Obamacare Seen Hiking Cost of FL State-Employee Health Plan

Expensive mandates were easy to sell, hard to pay for


TALLAHASSEE—The federal Affordable Care Act is expected to add tens of millions of dollars in costs to Florida's state-employee health insurance program, leading some lawmakers to float the possibility of shifting more expenses to workers or tinkering with benefits.

"We certainly still have budget problems in the state of Florida," Rep. John Wood, R-Winter Haven, said Wednesday as a House select committee heard a presentation about the issue. "We have a lot of competition for our revenue."

A major part of the increase stems from an Affordable Care Act requirement that the state offer insurance coverage to people who are considered temporary employees but work more than 30 hours a week. Under current state law, those people—known in Tallahassee-speak as "other personal services," or OPS, employees—are not eligible for coverage.