County Health Care Plan
Overview & Structure:
Political forces carried the day in Hillsborough County, FL. Faced with state mandates that obligated local taxpayers to cover hospitalization for indigent patients - and costs skyrocketing at 17% per year - county commissioners in Tampa took matters into their own hands. The award-winning program they created in 1991 actually expanded coverage from 15,000 to more than 25,000 residents but has still saved taxpayers $100 million over the last 10 years. In fact, the average monthly cost per enrollee served plummeted from about $600 to $250 over a period when most health care costs were rising.
The Hillsborough County Health Care Plan is a comprehensive managed care plan for indigent residents with incomes up to 100% of the federal poverty level who do not qualify for other coverage. Services are delivered by a network that includes 600 primary care physicians, 12 clinics and 5 hospitals. Mental health, dental and other ancillary services also are provided through contracts with public and private providers. The program, enabled by state statute, was funded with a ½ cent sales tax approved by the County Commission.
The Plan emphasizes primary and preventative services, early intervention, health education, and the coordination of health and social services. Through competitive contracts with providers in four regional networks, enrollees are “mainstreamed” into the system and provided access to the same providers available to other insured residents. The Plan is administered by the Hillsborough County Department of Health & Social Services with oversight from a community advisory board.
Low-income individuals with incomes up to 100% of the federal poverty level.Program serves more than 25,000 individuals per year. Total eligible population estimated at 28,000.
Financing/Costs:Financed through a state authorized statute allowing a ½ cent sales tax approved by the County Commission, along with $26.8 million per year in property taxes as mandated by the State of Florida to fund indigent care. After just 4-1/2 years of operation (1993-1997), the Plan was so successful that the County decreased the sales tax to ¼ cent while saving property owners increases in property taxes.
Hillsborough County Dept. of Health & Social Services
P.O. Box 1110
Tampa, FL 33601