CHOICES Advisory Board Holds Special Meeting
GAINESVILLE- Choices is a healthcare program paid for by taxpayers in Alachua County.
The program helps uninsured county residents gain acess to healthcare services that would otherwise be unaffordable .
During budget talks, County Commissioner Winston Bradley offered suggestions to the CHOICES board on what to do with their excess funds.
Chairperson of the CHOICES advisory board, Dr. Allan March says Winston, "asked me to look at the feasability of developing a trust fund using the remaining CHOICES fund balanceby discontinuing the enrollment of new members in the CHOICES program."
The program services more than 4300 residents with medical, dental, vision, and pharmacy benefits as well as access to several other community based programs.
The advisory board voted to continue the program until the end of 2013.
March says, "there's a proposal to take $3.3 million from the CHOICES fund balance and use that money to pay the past medicaid expenses of the county."
Supporters and recipients of CHOICES services say they want the money to stay where it is and any extra to go toward externally funded community health programs...Money that was collected from surtax between 2005 and 2011.
On August 14th the Director of the CHOICES program, Robert Bailey will present the advisory board's recommendations to County Commissioners.
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