Julio Ochoa

Health News Florida Editor

Julio Ochoa is editor of Health News Florida.

He comes to WUSF from The Tampa Tribune, where he began as a website producer for TBO.com and served in several editing roles, eventually becoming the newspaper’s deputy metro editor. 

Julio was born and raised in St. Petersburg, and received a bachelor’s degree from Florida State University. He earned a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Colorado and worked at a paper in Greeley, Colo., before returning to Florida as a reporter and as breaking news editor for the Naples Daily News.

Contact Julio at 813-974-8633, on Twitter at @julioochoa or email julioochoa@wusf.org.

Florida Blue

Florida’s largest provider of health insurance under the Affordable Care Act responded today to the federal government’s decision to stop funding subsidies that keep costs low for some consumers.

Florida Hospital

Florida Hospital has purchased about 100 acres along Interstate 4 in Lakeland where it plans to build a freestanding emergency room and eventually a 200-bed hospital.

Julio Ochoa / WUSF Public Media

The C130's four propeller engines scream as it lifts off from MacDill Air Force base in Tampa.

The plane is loaded with pallets of medical supplies bound for St. Croix, nine days after the largest of the U.S. Virgin Islands took a direct hit from Hurricane Maria.

Humanitarian flights to the islands of St. Croix and Puerto Rico are continuing in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria.

Crews based at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa on Friday loaded a cargo plane with supplies and headed for St. Croix, where patients from island hospitals were picked up and taken to a Columbia, South Carolina hospital

healthcare.gov

Health insurance rates on the Obamacare marketplace in Florida will increase by an average of 45 percent in 2018.

Kaiser Family Foundation

A proposal to replace the Affordable Care Act would cost Florida $9.7 billion in federal funding over six years, according to a study from the Kaiser Family Foundation.

Georgetown University

Recent efforts in Congress to repeal and replace Obamacare are overshadowing an important deadline to fund children's health insurance.

UF Health

Researchers at the University of Florida have developed a new therapy that they hope could lead to a cure for multiple sclerosis.

Julio Ochoa/WUSF

A mild stroke sent St. Petersburg resident Lori Ngo to the hospital in May.

She was feeling a pain in her leg, but didn't think much of it.

healthcare.gov

A Florida organization that helps people sign up for insurance through the federal marketplace will have its funding cut by nearly $1 million.

Hal Yeager for Kaiser Health News

For the millions of people who are still without power across Florida, heat illness can be a concern.  

HHS.gov

A public health emergency was declared for Florida on Thursday ahead of Hurricane Irma.

U.S. Army

As Texas recovers from Hurricane Harvey, Floridians may be wondering how well the state could weather a similar storm.

Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

A proposal by two senators to replace Obamacare would be particularly bad for Florida, costing the state billions of dollars over the next 10 years, a new study says.

Suncoast Community Health Centers

Community health centers that serve poor patients around Florida are worried that new restrictions on state and federal funding could hurt their ability to provide charity care.

healthcare.gov

Consumers who want to enroll in Obamacare for 2018 will have less help and a shorter time to do it.

Tampa General Hospital

Florida hospitals recently learned that an agreement between the state and federal governments will provide them with up to $1.5 billion to cover care for people who can’t pay.

But local governments will have to put up $559 million in matching funds before hospitals can access all of that money.

The National Resident Matching Program

Michael Smith graduated from a Caribbean medical school in 2014 with a degree and a mountain of debt.

He wants to start paying it off, but first he needs a medical license. The only way to get that is by completing his final years of medical training at a residency program in the United States.

Oxitec

The state's first sexually-transmitted case of Zika virus in 2017 has been confirmed in Pinellas County.

Google Maps

A state investigation into St. Petersburg's sewage spills places much of the blame on the decision to close the Albert Whitted wastewater treatment facility.

About 50,000 gallons of partially-treated sewage overflowed Wednesday from a water treatment plant in south St. Petersburg.

Julio Ochoa/WUSF

The St. Petersburg Free Clinic’s health center has a new home and it’s twice as big.

The clinic outgrew its space in downtown St. Petersburg and was experiencing a backlog of appointments and longer wait times.

With everyone age 65 and older eligible for Medicare, seniors may be the last group that comes to mind when there's talk of Medicaid spending reductions.

Julio Ochoa/WUSF

Changes to Medicaid in Republican proposals for health care reform could cause insurance rates to go up for everyone, according to Rep. Kathy Castor.

healthcare.gov

Six companies filed to sell health insurance in Florida next year on the Obamacare exchanges with an average rate increase of 17.8 percent, state officials said.

However, if the state approves the rate increase, it would likely be offset by an increase in federal subsidies. That means consumers wouldn’t have to pay much more for their premiums.

Julio Ochoa/WUSF

Hundreds of millions of gallons of sewage spilled onto Pinellas County streets and into waterways after last year's tropical storms. A task force set up to address the issue provided an update on their progress on Thursday in Seminole.

Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia Commons

The 2016 presidential election generated a lot of stress. But for those in ethnic and religious groups in the middle of the debate, the stress could be affecting their health.  

Florida Blue

Florida Blue will file its proposed rates for the Affordable Care Act marketplace this week and officials warn they could increase by 20 percent if the federal government stops funding the cost sharing measures that are included in Obamacare.

Florida is the second worst state in the nation at providing home- and community-based health care options for seniors and the disabled, a new report says.

COURTESY OF NICODEMO FIORENTINO

Of the three medications that treat opioid addiction, one got more attention in the Florida Legislature this year.

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