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About Us


The Polk HealthCare Plan is health coverage for Polk residents who do not have insurance or any other health coverage and limited income. The plan partners with licensed medical providers in the community to connect residents with the care they need for: primary care, specialty care, behavioral healthcare, urgent care, emergency services and prescription services.

The Polk HealthCare Plan is not insurance and members do not pay annual deductibles, monthly fees, enrollment fees or submit claim forms.

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History & Purpose

Polk County has long been caring for its indigent residents who had little means and no health coverage. Polk General, the county’s first indigent hospital, was built in 1926 and was one of the first efforts to address the medical needs of the population. In the years that followed, the need grew and the county opened clinics to provide health services to residents – its last clinic closing in 2000.

As the county moved away from providing direct services, the Polk HealthCare Plan was born in 1999. Rather than providing services directly to residents the county would partner with providers, clinics and hospitals to provide direct care with the plan covering the cost of the services.

Who qualifies for indigent care?

How is the plan funded?

The Polk HealthCare Plan, sometimes referred to as “Polk County Health Care Plan” or “Polk Health Care Plan – Polk County Florida’s Safety Net Program” was initially funded through the county’s General Fund. In 2004, Polk County voters approved a ½ cent sales surtax for indigent healthcare. The tax was approved for 15 years.

In 2016, before the tax would expire, the option to renew the sales surtax was placed on the ballot. Voters approved the ½ cent tax for 25 more years. The surtax will expire in 2044.

From 2004 to present day, funding for the Polk HealthCare Plan has come from everyone who pays sales tax in Polk County. Even those who benefit most from the plan, contribute to it by paying sales tax.

Ordinance(s): (F.S. 212.0055 (7)) or the Polk County Indigent Health Care Plan Extension Ordinance

What else does the sales surtax fund?

In addition to the Polk HealthCare Plan, the sales surtax for indigent healthcare also funds additional healthcare services, mandatory state programs such as county cost share for Medicaid, Healthcare Responsibility Act (HCRA) F.S. 154.301-154.331, Polk County Department of Health F.S. 154.01(2), and Behavioral Health Services F.S. 394.76.

Apply today!

If you are a Polk County resident who has little or no-income and without health coverage or insurance, or are waiting to qualify for Medicaid, then the Polk HealthCare Plan may be for you.

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