Five years later: How ACA is working for Florida—Better Options

Better Options

Making health care more affordable and accessible through the Health Insurance Marketplaces:  Through the Marketplace, Floridians had the option of signing up for quality health coverage at a price they could afford. Whether they visited the simpler, faster and more intuitive website at HealthCare.gov or contacted the call center, they found more choices and competitive prices.

In Florida, 1,596,296 consumers selected or were automatically re-enrolled in quality, affordable health insurance coverage through the Marketplace as of Feb. 22.  Nationwide, nearly 11.7 million consumers selected a plan or were automatically enrolled in Marketplace coverage.

Marketplace Signups and Tax Credits in Florida:

93 percent of Florida consumers who were signed up qualified for an average tax credit of $294 per month through the Marketplace.

72 percent of Florida Marketplace enrollees obtained coverage for $100 or less after any 33applicable tax credits in 2015, and 93 percent had the option of doing so.

In Florida, consumers could choose from 14 issuers in the Marketplace in 2015 – up from 11 in 2014.

Florida consumers could choose from an average of 42 health plans in their county for 2015 coverage.

525,619 consumers in Florida under the age of 35 are signed up for Marketplace coverage (33 percent of plan selections in the state).  And 445,980 consumers 18 to 34 years of age (28 percent of all plan selections) are signed up for Marketplace coverage.

Florida has received $1,000,000 in grants for research, planning, information technology development, and implementation of its Marketplace.

Open enrollment for 2015 coverage ended on Feb. 15, 2014. Open enrollment for 2016 coverage runs from November 1, 2015 to January 31, 2016.  Consumers should visit HealthCare.gov to see if they qualify for a Special Enrollment Period because of a life change like marriage, having a baby or losing other coverage.  Enrollment in Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program is open year round.

Reducing the number of uninsured Americans: Nationwide, since the Affordable Care Act’s coverage expansion began, about 16.4 million uninsured people have gained health insurance coverage – the largest reduction in the uninsured in four decades. And Gallup recently announced that the uninsured rate in Florida in 2014 was 18.3 percent, down from 22.1 percent in 2013.

New coverage options for young adults: Under the health care law, if your plan covers children, you can now add or keep your children on your health insurance policy until they turn 26 years old. Thanks to this provision, over 2.3 young people who would otherwise have been uninsured have gained coverage nationwide.

Expanding Medicaid:  Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, states have new opportunities to expand Medicaid coverage to individuals with family incomes at or below 133 percent of the federal poverty level (generally $32,253 for a family of four in 2015). This expansion includes non-elderly adults without dependent children, who have not previously been eligible for Medicaid in most states.

Twenty-eight states plus DC have expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.   Florida has not expanded Medicaid and as of January 2015, only 299,160 Floridians have gained Medicaid or CHIP coverage since the beginning of the Health Insurance Marketplace first open enrollment period. If Florida expanded Medicaid, an additional 848,000 uninsured people would gain coverage. The expansion would be paid 100 percent by federal funds for the first three years and federal funds would never fall below 90 percent of costs thereafter. Across the nation, approximately 11.2 more Americans are now enrolled in Medicaid and CHIP.

Submitted by Stephanie A. Owens, Sr. Advisor, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Region IV

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