Simply Healthcare Plan announces $574,000 in Florida community investments
Casey DeSantis discusses a new rule mandating five hours of mental health education for middle and high school students.

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Simply Healthcare Plan in the last two months has invested $574,000 to help address community needs across Florida, targeting the funds at mental health programs, food initiatives and scholarships for licensed nurses.

Some of the larger investments include $180,000 for Project Link in Tampa Bay, $100,000 for Feeding Florida, $100,000 for the Hope for Healing Initiative launched by First Lady Casey DeSantis and $104,000 for nursing scholarships in a spate of Northwest Florida counties.

An additional $100,000 will be given to Feeding Florida to address food insecurity in areas that are disproportionately affected by chronic health conditions and higher rates of mortality. According to the release, Feeding Florida will direct the money to Feeding South Florida, Feeding Tampa Bay and Feeding the Gulf Coast.

“With these investments, it’s our goal to set Floridians up for success,” Simply Healthcare Plans President Holly Prince said. “Whether it’s ensuring a parent can feed their family at night, supporting a mom through pregnancy, navigating a cancer diagnosis, providing health care workforce training, or helping those struggling with depression, we want Floridians to have access to the tools they need to live a healthy and fulfilling life.”

In all, the health plan has donated more than $1 million to community programs this year, according to the news release.

The state of Florida signs Medicaid contracts with managed care plans that compete to provide health care services to the state’s Medicaid enrollees, from the cradle to the grave. Simply Healthcare Plan is one of the larger Medicaid managed care providers, according to the most recent data published by the state Agency for Health Care Administration.

Simply Healthcare Plan has “managed medical assistance,” or MMA, or contracts that cover traditional health care services provided to the poor, elderly and disabled. The health plan also has contracts with the state to Medicaid managed long term care and Medicaid specialty care

As of Nov. 30, Simply Healthcare Plan had 648,466 enrollees in its MMA plan making it the third-largest health plan in terms of enrollment with 16.4% of the market share. Humana is the second-largest health plan with 663,348 or 16.8% of the market share. Sunshine Health Plan had 1,527,112 members as of Nov 30, making it the largest. It dominates the Medicaid MMA market share with 38.6% market share.

Simply Healthcare Plan had 13,591 people enrolled in its Medicaid managed long-term care plan.

Simply operates under the Clear Health Alliance moniker in the Medicaid managed care specialty market. Data show it had 12,791 members across the state as of Nov. 30.

Of the $574,000 in investments announced Monday, $180,000 will help support a mental health counselor or child psychologist for children at 50 middle schools in areas with limited access to mental health support. The program is being operated by Project Link in Tampa Bay.

The $100,000 Hope for Healing funding will be used in part for the development of new lesson plans on substance use and abuse based on the state’s new standards. It also will be used to support Hope for Healing ambassadors at and clubs at public schools.

The Medicaid managed care plan also will provide $104,000 to what is calls the Health Scholars Program. The program will be established where scholarships are offered to students pursuing their bachelor of science in nursing and who reside in Bay, Calhoun, Gulf, Holmes Jackson Franklin or Washington counties. The health plan also will provide $30,000 for doula certifications but offered no additional details.

While the plan focuses on Medicaid some of the money will help benefit uninsured women. Simply Health Plan is partnering with Delta Sigma Theta sorority to host a Health Fair in Belle Glade. The women will be able to access a variety of preventive health screenings, including breast and cervical, high blood pressure and diabetes. Sixty uninsured women receive screenings at Lakeside Medical Center as well as transportation assistance to health care appointments if needed.

The Florida Literacy Coalition also will receive $50,000.

State Sen. Aaron Bean and state Rep. Colleen Burton praised the health plans for the investments.

“Simply is a trusted Florida partner,” Bean said in a prepared statement. “It’s clear that they care about the communities they serve through investments in care, education and hunger throughout the Sunshine State.”

Burton added, “These investments from Simply will have a real impact on Floridians’ lives. It’s not just about providing care. It’s about improving quality of life and opportunity for prosperity.”

Christine Jordan Sexton

Tallahassee-based health care reporter who focuses on health care policy and the politics behind it. Medicaid, health insurance, workers’ compensation, and business and professional regulation are just a few of the things that keep me busy.



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