Health care workers in Florida say they’re “unable and unwilling” to find jobs, after the state began requiring them to show proof of health insurance.
The Florida Department of Health has launched a program to help Florida health providers fill out their applications, which can take up to six months to complete.
The department also is expanding its program to cover more employers.
In a statement Monday, the department said, “We are continuing to review the eligibility requirements for these health care providers and are actively seeking additional information from employers about the eligibility of these employees.
However, in the interim, we have limited the number of workers we are able to offer and we will continue to work with our state partners to ensure they have access to appropriate coverage.”
The program was created in response to the Affordable Care Act, and has been extended to other states that have expanded Medicaid coverage under the health law.
In Florida, the program has been expanding for four years.
The state is seeking the assistance of local employers to ensure health care professionals have adequate coverage, said Jennifer Miller, deputy director of the department’s Division of Labor and Industrial Relations.
Employers may be able to ask workers if they have health insurance if they are self-employed, Miller said.
Workers must also complete a form that shows their income and the cost of coverage.
The health department said in a statement that it’s investigating whether workers are being paid in full or at a percentage of their compensation.
The state is asking health care organizations to respond to the state’s concerns.
The department said the program “was established in response, in part, to the passage of the Affordable Healthcare Act.”
The state says it has also expanded its program in the past, but did not provide any details about what that expansion included.
State health officials have said the federal law has resulted in increased demand for workers.