Florida low-cost health insurance begins Jan. 5

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - About 3.8 million uninsured Floridians can start applying for low-cost health coverage through a new state program on Jan. 5.

Gov. Charlie Crist signed contracts Wednesday with six insurance companies that will provide 25 different plans.

Some - averaging $155 or less - will cover only the basics such as office visits, screenings, emergency room care and prescription drugs. Others also will offer hospitalization and catastrophic coverage, but they will cost more.

Consumers can save 50 percent or more over similar polices available on the open market, but the state plans typically have less comprehensive coverage.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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