Hillsborough Expands Eligibility, Benefits for Health Care Plan
Hillsborough County expanded the benefits and increased the number of residents eligible for the Hillsborough County Health Care Plan, which provides health care benefits to the most vulnerable residents.
The County's Health Care Plan is a comprehensive managed care program for residents with limited income and assets who do not qualify for other health care coverage. The innovative plan provides primary and specialty care, outpatient treatment, and assistance with prescriptions. The Hillsborough County Health Care Plan has been funded since 1991 by a local half-cent restricted sales tax.
In December, the Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners unanimously approved a recommendation to raise eligibility from at or below 138 percent of the federal poverty to 175 percent, a change that increases the number of residents eligible for the plan by thousands. Commissioners also approved adding dental benefits to the Health Care Plan, with an annual cap of $2,500. This marks the first time that dental benefits will be available as part of the plan. Residents can begin to apply for the expanded benefits now.
County officials said the changes will provide badly needed dental benefits to those already in the Health Care Plan. They also said increasing the income eligibility levels will make the plan available to residents who can't afford traditional medical insurance but had previously fallen through the cracks for assistance.
Changes to the plan went into effect on Jan. 1, 2022.