As you know, the next enrollment period for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) begins on November 15. According to the Miami Herald, new Florida sign-ups are anticipated to be in excess of 200,000. This projection was calculated by the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation, and the Miami Herald reports that would bring the state’s total enrollment numbers for ACA plans to 1.07 million.
In the same report, the Miami Herald indicated that insurers are hoping more young and healthy residents will sign-up, which would help offset the costs of insuring those with pre-existing or chronic medical conditions.
In our region, the latest recorded data showing the number of uninsured is still high. According to the community dashboard at Healthy Tampa Bay, only 71.3 percent of adults had health insurance as of 2013. Furthermore, the data shows that as of 2013 only 88.1 percent of children had health insurance.
If you remember, in the September edition of our monthly consumer publication, Central Florida Health News, we reported how some local clinics for the uninsured— specifically Lakeland Volunteers in Medicine and Angels Care in Eloise— were still seeing a steady flow of patients after the first enrollment period had come and gone. One thing is for sure, it remains to be seen how the next enrollment period will affect the industry, and if the next round of sign-ups will be felt on the local level.
Celeste Jo Walls