Affordable Care Act

HNF Stories
10:54 am
Tue June 24, 2014

No Rate Increase? Can It Be?

Update: Late Tuesday, the state Office of Insurance Regulation said information posted about 2015 individual market health insurance rates was incorrect and has been taken off its website. See more.

Something unprecedented may be unfolding in Florida's individual health-insurance market: None of the nine companies that have filed their 2015 rate requests so far wants an increase.

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HNF Stories
10:54 am
Wed June 18, 2014

Florida Premiums Average $68/Mo.

Floridians who bought health insurance on the Affordable Care Act marketplace and received tax credits got a pretty good deal, according to federal data.

They spent an average of $68 a month, considerably less than the national average of $82, the charts show. (See page 23 in the report)

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Health News Florida
10:58 am
Wed June 11, 2014

Loophole in Health Law: Ministries

Some people refuse to buy insurance that complies with the Affordable Care Act for political reasons. Others simply don't think it's really affordable.

The New York Times reports that a growing number of them have turned to the religious loophole in the health law. Two of those profiled are Florida women who are members of a faith-based nonprofit called Christian Healthcare Ministries.

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HNF Stories
9:34 am
Fri May 30, 2014

4 FL Insurers Accused of Discrimination

Two health organizations filed a complaint with federal health officials Thursday alleging some Florida insurance companies are violating the Affordable Care Act by structuring their insurance plans in a way that discourage consumers with HIV and AIDS from choosing those plans.

The National Health Law Program and The AIDS Institute of Tampa said four insurance companies offering plans in Florida through the federal online exchange required HIV and AIDS patients to pay a percentage of their often expensive drugs instead of a flat co-pay.

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Opinion
11:35 pm
Thu May 22, 2014

Scott Turns Back on Needy Uninsured

John Romano

Tampa Bay Times columnist John Romano tells how Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, a long-time opponent of the Affordable Care Act, nevertheless has asked the federal government for ACA funds to cover his state's uninsured citizens.

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Health News Florida
10:59 am
Mon May 19, 2014

Anti-'ObamaCare' Ads Dominate

Floridians who feel they have been deluged by negative political ads with an anti-"Obamacare" theme are not mistaken: A new study shows spending on negative Affordable Care Act ads dwarfed positive ones 15 to 1.

An example of one such ad by Americans for Prosperity aired for three weeks in the Panhandle district of Congressman Steve Southerland, R-FL.

Here is the national story from Associated Press:

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Health News Florida
9:46 am
Thu May 15, 2014

Doc 'With Heart' Helps Uninsured Man

Since being diagnosed with a heart condition, Mark Heath has lost his home, his boat and most of his possessions. As one of the 800,000 Floridians trapped in the state’s Medicaid gap, he told the Daytona Beach News-Journal he didn’t have the means or access to needed medical care.

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Consumer
8:57 am
Wed May 14, 2014

Cheaper Plans Bring Complaints

When Marie Bien-Aime first enrolled in a Healthcare.gov plan, she picked one that avoided a monthly payment.

Then the 59-year-old cook at a Miami restaurant realized her longtime health clinic didn't take the plan. Shortly before the enrollment deadline, Bien-Aime upgraded to a plan that costs $37 per month.

"Paying $37 isn't good for me, but I had to do it because I wanted to keep my doctor because he's so good," said Bien-Aime, who was previously uninsured.

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Health News Florida
10:59 am
Wed May 7, 2014

Taxpayers Good to WellCare, Humana

Taxpayers have been good to Tampa-based WellCare Health Plans Inc., and they're about to get even more generous. 

In WellCare's case, the benefactor is Medicaid. But Humana, another company that is big in Florida and is releasing earnings, apparently is benefiting from enrollment through the Affordable Care Act, as Forbes reports.

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HNF Stories
4:15 pm
Thu May 1, 2014

Nearly 1M Floridians Enroll

Credit healthcare.gov

Nearly 1 million Floridians signed up for a health insurance plan through the federally-run Health Insurance Marketplace during the first open enrollment period, according to numbers from the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.

Among the states using the federal government's exchange -- healthcare.gov -- Florida had the highest number, with 983,479 enrolled.

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Health News Florida
10:16 am
Wed April 30, 2014

Scott Goofs in Hunt for ACA Gripes

Gov. Rick Scott, who has been orchestrating anti-"Obamacare" meetings with senior citizens around the state and using them as fodder for campaign commercials, picked the wrong senior center in Boca Raton. As the South Florida Sun Sentinel reports, of 20 older voters he talked to, only one had a complaint, about having a hard time finding an orthopedic surgeon.

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HNF Stories
1:49 pm
Tue April 29, 2014

Former Foster Kids Qualify for Medicaid

Thousands of former foster youth are gaining health insurance under the Affordable Care Act.

The new law extends Medicaid coverage for former foster youth who have aged out of the system and are under the age of 26.

Florida officials say roughly 10,000 former foster youth are eligible. But they aren't automatically enrolled and need to apply for coverage. The provision is aimed at giving former foster youth the same opportunity for health insurance as their peers who are able to stay on their parent's insurance until they turn 26.

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Health News Florida
10:44 am
Mon April 28, 2014

Focus on Floridians Caught in Gap

With 800,000 uninsured Floridians stuck in the “coverage gap” - too much money to qualify for Medicaid, but not enough for subsidies under the Affordable Care Act - the focus is turning on what can be done to help. 

The Florida Legislature turned down the option of accepting $51 billion in federal funds that would have provided them health coverage last year. With only one week left in this year's session, those in the gap - 20 percent of Florida’s uninsured - will most likely be left hanging.

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Health News Florida
9:36 am
Wed April 16, 2014

Publix, Sea World Want ACA Change

Three powerful Central Florida companies back legislation to increase the number of hours an employee must work to qualify for employer-provided health care. 

Health News Florida
10:06 am
Tue April 15, 2014

ACA Spending Below Projections

The cost of the Affordable Care Act is about $5 billion a year less than originally projected, mostly because insurance premiums were lower than expected, the Congressional Budget Office said Monday.

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Health News Florida
10:18 am
Mon April 14, 2014

Mother of 3 in Medicaid 'Gap' Dies

While 7 million Americans enrolled for health insurance before the March 31 Affordable Care Act deadline,  Charlene Dill wasn’t one of them.

The young mother of three collapsed and died from a treatable heart condition on March 21. She fell into  Florida’s health care gap; her income from part-time commission-based jobs was just $9,000, too poor for Affordable Care Act subsidies, the Orlando Weekly magazine reports.

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Opinion
11:21 am
Fri April 11, 2014

Road-Weary ACA Here to Stay

The Affordable Care Act’s first open enrollment deadline has passed, and the total exceeded expectations, despite a rocky start.
The bickering between the critics and the administration continues, according to an editorial in the Ocala Star-Banner, but the fact remains that millions of Americans who couldn’t get coverage before now have insurance because of the law.  The success is even more startling, considering how hard opponents in Florida worked to stand in the way of the ACA.  

HNF Stories
10:21 am
Fri April 11, 2014

FL Medicaid Enrollment Expands

Florida’s Republican lawmakers remain staunchly opposed to expanding Medicaid — a system they’ve repeatedly said is too expensive and doesn’t improve health outcomes. Yet Florida’s Medicaid rolls are expanding under the Affordable Care Act whether Florida likes it or not.

That’s because people trying to sign up for health insurance under President Obama’s new health law are finding out — to their surprise — that they qualify for Medicaid, the federal health insurance program for the poor.

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Health News Florida
10:16 am
Thu April 10, 2014

Scott Denies ACA Ads Are False

Gov. Rick Scott is not backing down from a pair of campaign ads that state 300,000 Floridians lost their Florida Blue health insurance because of the Affordable Care Act, the Miami Herald reports. The ads attack Scott’s presumed opponent, Charlie Crist, for his support of the federal health law, and use a claim about the Floridians losing insurance that was rated “Mostly False” by PolitiFact.

Health News Florida
11:02 am
Tue April 8, 2014

Crist Reaffirms Support for Obamacare

Former Republican Charlie Crist, now gunning for his old gubernatorial job as a Democrat, is reaffirming his support for the Affordable Care Act, the Naples Daily News reports. At a campaign stop Monday in Naples, Crist cited a PolitiFact ruling of “mostly false” on Gov.

Opinion
1:24 pm
Wed April 2, 2014

Fact-Checking Rubio and Scott on ACA Claims

Originally published on Wed April 2, 2014 1:21 pm

Right around the 4th anniversary of its passage, the deadline to sign up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act -- also known as Obamacare -- has come and gone.

While the White House has been celebrating the number of sign-ups -- a number that's in dispute -- critics, including many Republicans, claim the law is fatally flawed.

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Health News Florida
9:21 am
Wed April 2, 2014

It May Not Be Too Late to Enroll

Dr. Maite Casanova at an enrollment event on Monday, March 31.
Carol Gentry WUSF

Enrollment in health insurance plans is continuing, and navigators in Florida are still working to help people pick plans.

Jodi Ray, who directs the USF grant program that contracts with navigator groups, said the contracts haven't expired so the navigators are still available at the same places they were before -- some community centers, health clinics, and so on.

(Go to this page and click on "find local help." You can type in your zip code and get a list.)

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HNF Stories
1:08 am
Tue April 1, 2014

Crunch Time Hits Uninsured, Website

Walt Seely, volunteer for Get Covered, America
Carol Gentry WUSF

Al Lopez Park in Tampa is normally an oasis of serenity on a Monday. But on the last day of open enrollment for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, the community center was crowded, noisy and stressful. Hundreds of procrastinators came seeking help from navigators.

It was a microcosm of the nation, as 3 million Americans visited the HealthCare.gov website and another 1 million used the call-center line on the last official day to sign up for a 2014 health plan.

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Florida Matters
11:03 am
Mon March 31, 2014

Florida Matters: Answering Listener Questions on the Affordable Care Act

Linda Fleming, an attorney with Carlton Fields Jorden Burt
Kate Barth

Originally published on Fri March 28, 2014 6:44 pm

In a Florida Matters show first aired Tuesday night on WUSF 89.7 FM, a panel of experts answers reader and listener questions about the Affordable Care Act.

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Consumer
8:33 am
Mon March 31, 2014

What's Next for Health Law?

Just because open enrollment for people who buy their own health insurance formally closes March 31 doesn't mean debate over the health law will take a hiatus.

After more than four years of strident rhetoric, evidence about how the law is actually working is starting to trickle in. Here are seven things to watch before the next enrollment period begins in November:

1) How many enrolled, really?

Rightly or wrongly, this figure has become a yardstick by which some are measuring the law's success. But no one can give an accurate accounting yet.

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HNF Stories
6:33 pm
Sun March 30, 2014

Deadline Time for ACA

Monday is the deadline to sign up for private health insurance in the new online markets created by President Barack Obama’s health care law. So far, about 4 out of every 5 people enrolling have qualified for tax credits to reduce the cost of their premiums.

Here’s what you need to know:

* The deadline is Monday at midnight EDT for the states where the federal government is running the sign-up website, including Florida; states running their own exchanges set their own deadlines.

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Health News Florida
10:31 am
Fri March 28, 2014

Fact-Checking Recovery of Medicaid Costs Under ACA

Does the Affordable Care Act permit the government to seize assets after Medicaid patients age 55 or older die? According to the Florida Times-Union, states have had the option to do that since the Medicaid program started in 1965.

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Consumer
3:27 am
Fri March 28, 2014

Obamacare's National Enrollment Looks OK, But States Matter More

Maygan Rollins, a field organizer with Enroll America, talked health insurance options with Jerry Correa during a recent campaign in Miami.
Lynne Sladky AP

Originally published on Tue April 1, 2014 12:23 am

With this year's deadline to register for individual health insurance just a weekend away, much attention is being lavished on two numbers — the 6 million Americans who have signed up so far, and the percentage of those folks who are (or aren't) young.

But experts say the national numbers actually don't mean very much.

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HNF Stories
10:33 am
Thu March 27, 2014

How Do I Shop for Insurance? More Listener Questions Answered

Health News Florida Editor Carol Gentry
Lottie Watts

 In a Florida Matters show that first aired Tuesday night on WUSF 89.7 FM, a panel of experts answers reader and listener questions about the Affordable Care Act.

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Health News Florida
9:49 am
Mon March 24, 2014

Immigrants Wary of Enrolling Kids

As the March 31 deadline for the Affordable Care Act looms, many undocumented immigrants are not registering their U.S. born children out of fear of deportation, USA Today reports.

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