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TALLAHASSEE -- Florida's health maintenance organizations will pay at least $3.5 million to cover the costs of bailing out SunStar Health Plan Inc.
To date, the program has paid $2.7 million covering the outstanding medical costs of people once insured by the now-insolvent firm.
And the costs are just beginning. HMO Consumer Assistance Program Manager Bruce Platt anticipates that number eventually will soar to $11 million. By contrast, the bailouts of four Florida HMOs in the past three years have totaled just $6.7 million.
The SunStar bill is an attempt on the part of insurance regulators and others to extend health care coverage to 77,000 …