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.

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.

Annie E. Casey Foundation

Florida has made significant improvements in providing for its children, a recent study shows.

Ozlem Yaren

Florida scientists have developed a new test for Zika that would produce results in less than an hour.

And the test can detect the Zika virus in the blood of humans or mosquitoes.

Julio Ochoa/WUSF

No more than 20 medical marijuana dispensaries would be allowed to open in unincorporated parts of Hillsborough County under new rules passed by commissioners on Wednesday.

Tampa General Hospital has hired the CEO of Jupiter Medical Center to become its next president and CEO, officials announced on Monday.

A federal investigation into St. Petersburg’s sewage releases has been closed.

On a typical spring day, when it hasn't rained in a while, about 7 million gallons of raw sewage flows into St. Petersburg's southwest water treatment plant.

Wikimedia Commons

Jane Morse needed to fill a prescription that was going to cost her about $300. She's on Medicare but doesn't have a prescription drug plan so she's learned to shop around.

AARP

The AARP has been outspoken in its opposition to the American Health Care Act, which was passed by the House earlier this month.

Julio Ochoa/WUSF

More than $800 billion in cuts to Medicaid are wrapped into the health care reform bill that Senators are now considering.

Julio Ochoa/WUSF

Hillsborough commissioners will consider placing a cap on the number of medical marijuana dispensaries that can open in unincorporated parts of the county.

St. Petersburg officials are repairing about 2,000 manholes to make sure the city's sewage system is not overwhelmed during heavy rainfall.

City of St. Petersburg

Red tied may have contributed to the deaths of 70 pelicans in St. Petersburg early this year, the Tampa Bay Times reports.

The Republican health care proposal passed by the U.S. House last week would cut $800 billion from Medicaid over the next decade.

Tampa General Hospital

The state budget includes deep cuts to hospitals that serve the poor and lawmakers are betting on federal money to help offset the losses.

Gov. Rick Scott has declared a public health emergency across Florida for the opioid epidemic.

Julio Ochoa/WUSF

More money is needed to stop overdose deaths, Manatee County leaders told state officials during an opioid workshop Tuesday.

tharms5 (Flickr)

As legislators work out the details of implementing medical marijuana, pharmacists at the University of South Florida are determining how to deliver it as medication.

WMFE

The drug overdose epidemic has killed thousands in Florida and Gov. Rick Scott is looking for answers.

The state will hold workshops in four counties next week to talk about the problem.

Florida Blue

While other health insurers left the Affordable Care Act’s individual market in the state, Florida Blue is staying put and even turning a profit.

On a recent Tuesday, the weekly produce market co-op at the Woodbrook Estates mobile home community in Lakeland was bustling. 

Google Maps

Bayfront Health is fighting the state over another hospital's request to open a second trauma center in St. Petersburg.  

Suzanne Young

When it rains in St. Petersburg, as much as four times the amount of sewage can flow through the city's wastewater plants.

WMFE

Governor Rick Scott isn't waiting for the federal government to decide the future of the Affordable Care Act. His administration is proposing sweeping changes to the state's Medicaid program.  

United States Marine Corps (Wikimedia Commons)

Health News Florida's database of costs for common health care procedures is growing. PriceCheck now contains thousands of entries for health care providers. We're also getting a lot of feedback from listeners who have stories of their own about navigating the billing process.

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