As navigators scramble to enroll Floridians in coverage offered through Healthcare.gov, particularly in South Florida where uninsured numbers are highest, recent reports show more than 1 million Floridians have obtained coverage through the federal government’s website to date. Oddly enough, only a small percentage of residents actually qualify for federal subsidies. Open enrollment has had state uninsured estimates fluctuating day by day and somewhat unpredictable, but a recent study found about 20 percent of Florida’s population under age 64 (about 3 million people) are uninsured.
For the many uninsured Floridians who fall into the coverage gap because they are ineligible for Medicaid and don’t qualify for federal subsidies, Florida Health Choices, Inc. offers an alternative way to shop, compare and enroll in plans that comply with the Affordable Care Act. State lawmakers established Florida’s Health Insurance Marketplace and Florida Health Choices to improve access to affordable, quality healthcare for residents statewide.
The Health Insurance Marketplace is registered with the state of Florida. It provides a one-stop shop with six major insurance companies offering more than 40 plan options, depending on the county where you reside.
You can shop for plans based on criteria that matter most to you. For some, it’s all about the monthly premium. For others, it’s about your own doctor or hospital being in the network, or the amount of out-of-pocket costs you pay.
The online marketplace allows you to compare plans side-by-side based on your own needs and budget, as well as predict your monthly out-of-pocket costs. If you know of upcoming medical needs, such as a planned childbirth or a surgery, you can customize your plan accordingly.
Moreover, should you have questions, we have a toll-free number that connects you with a fellow Floridian who is trained in Florida insurance options and insurance agents licensed by the state.
Floridians can enroll any time between now and the end of open enrollment on Feb. 15. The plans offered cover essential health benefits, such as doctors’ appointments, hospital stays, trips to the emergency room and prescriptions. The costs of plans vary according to the number of people your plan covers, where you live, your age and whether or not you smoke.
If you’re the parent of a 25-year-old who will age out of your health insurance or you’re seeking insurance to avoid paying the healthcare penalty at tax time, it’s not too late to get insured. Affordable plans are available to Floridians, young and old, through the Health Insurance Marketplace.
Learn more about Florida Health Choices and the products offered to Floridians online at www.MyFloridaChoices.org.
Rose Naff, CEO,
Florida Health Choices, Tallahassee