TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – At the January 22nd annual meeting, the Florida Health Choices board unanimously elected former state senator Durell Peaden as the new chairman. Dr. Peaden replaces Senator Aaron Bean, who resigned as chairman in December 2012.

“We will miss Senator Bean’s leadership,” Peaden said. “I look forward to continuing to work with our committed team to bring the Health Insurance Marketplace to Floridians.”

Board members also discussed the recent announcement by the Department of Health and Human Services of the intent to use the term “marketplace” for the federal health insurance exchange in Florida. The board was concerned this would create confusion among the public about the Florida Health Choices Marketplace.

Florida Health Choices is charged with building a Health Insurance Marketplace for the state. The Marketplace is a central web portal where small business owners with two to 50 eligible employees can choose from a variety of health plans that best meets their needs. Other populations will be served in later phases.

“Our branding is a registered trademark in Florida,” said Florida Health Choices CEO Rose Naff. “We’ll need to monitor this situation carefully so consumers are not confused.”

The board also discussed the date of the Marketplace’s official launch. The board will meet on February 22nd to assess Marketplace readiness to begin enrollment of small business owners and their employees. The proposed target date would enable those consumers to shop for health care plans as early as February 26th, 2013.