According to federal statistics released on Wednesday, February 18, our state has surpassed California with the highest number of people purchasing health insurance under the plans available through the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
What’s surprising about this information is that Florida has had more signups, despite California embracing the law, spending millions on marketing the healthcare options, and establishing its own state exchange (a website that offers the same plans under the ACA, but separate from the federal exchange known as www.healthcare.gov). Florida — with its much smaller population than California — had about 1.6 million enrollees, which included newcomers and some renewals.
On the national scene, there were approximately 11.4 million people who signed up before the deadline on Sunday, February 15. The Obama administration had set a goal of 9.1 million enrolled in 2015, so that puts them ahead of the game, but some experts are saying that these numbers are still too modest.
So what’s the motivating factor for signups? Is it the fact that 3.8 million of our 19.5 million residents were without insurance (according to the U.S. Census Bureau) and found the plans under the federal marketplace affordable? Is it because those people did not want to be taxed for not having health insurance? Or, are the enrollment numbers reflective of a need for health insurance?
If you recently signed up for a plan under the federal marketplace, we’d like to hear from you. We welcome your stories, inquiries, and insights on your experience.
Send your letters to us at: Central Florida Media Group, ATTN: Letters to the Editor, 56 Fourth Street NW, Suite 100, Winter Haven, FL 33880.
column by NELSON KIRKLAND
Nelson Kirkland is publisher of Central Florida Health News. He may be reached by e-mail at email@example.com.