Florida: Cost of providing health coverage far less than ‘ObamaCare’ mandate

Paying the penalty for uninsured workers would cost the state roughly $300 million in the next fiscal year, according to Barbara Crosier, director of the Division of State Group Insurance.

Providing coverage to avoid paying the fine, though, would cost $23.5 million. The cost would rise to nearly $50 million in the next three years, Crossier said.

Her estimates were first reported by The Associated Press, and confirmed by The Hill.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R ) has been one of the most ardent critics of “ObamaCare” — his state led the legal challenge that reached the Supreme Court last year. Scott was recently forced to correct inaccurate math on another part of the health law. (He was wildly exaggerating the cost to the state of participating in the law’s Medicaid expansion.)

On the employer mandate, Crossier said she didn’t know why Florida was so far out of line with the estimates for private companies. Her office estimated the law “as written,” she said, and assumed that healthcare costs would continue to rise at roughly the same levels as they have for the past few years.

She said the state has roughly 2,200 employees who aren’t able to buy coverage, and maybe another 4,700 in the state university system.