health insurance exchange

Republican Gov. Matt Bevin has notified the federal government that Kentucky will dismantle its state health insurance exchange, Kynect.

The move will direct Kentuckians seeking health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, to use the federal health insurance site, HealthCare.gov.

More than 500,000 people have gotten health insurance through Kynect.

The Florida Health Choices marketplace, first established as a mandate-free health care marketplace, is poised to start selling plans that are compliant with the Affordable Care Act, Christine Jordan Sexton of SaintPetersBlog reports. Florida Health Choices CEO Rose Naff has asked federal health officials to help establish a means to allow shoppers who qualify for federal tax credits offered through the federal exchange to buy on the Florida site.

Federal health officials, after encouraging alternate sign-up methods amid the fumbled rollout of their online insurance website, began quietly urging counselors around the country this week to stop using paper applications to enroll people in health insurance because of concerns those applications would not be processed in time.

Commercial health insurers could be an alternative to the balky  Healthcare.gov if the White House grants a request from eight Democratic senators, including Florida Sen. Bill Nelson.  If the wish is granted, it could mean a huge influx of new customers for Florida Blue.

From one end of Florida to the other, calls for Florida House leaders to accept $51 billion in Affordable Care Act funds to expand Medicaid to cover the state's low-income uninsured were renewed on Wednesday. Even Gov. Scott started flirting with Obamacare again. But the man who said no to the money before -- House Speaker Will Weatherford -- is still saying no.

Here's a quick look at the action:

Sources: 476,000 Obamacare Applications Filed So Far

Oct 21, 2013

WASHINGTON — Administration officials say about 476,000 health insurance applications have been filed through federal and state exchanges, the most detailed measure yet of the problem-plagued rollout of President Barack Obama’s signature legislation.

However, the officials continue to refuse to say how many people have actually enrolled in the insurance markets. Without enrollment figures, it’s unclear whether the program is on track to reach the 7 million people projecting by the Congressional Budget Office to gain coverage during the six-month sign-up period.

HealthCare.gov is still inaccessible to millions, and word is that insurers are telling agents to wait until November to start enrolling consumers on the Marketplace, the Tampa Bay Times reports. The site requires people to register before they can view plans and subsidies, a requirement experts say has contributed to the bottleneck.

Jay Connor/Tampa Tribune

Carl and Regina Warren of Tampa are better-informed than a lot of Medicare beneficiaries; they know they don’t have to go shopping on the federal online Marketplace that opens Oct. 1 because they already have health insurance.

The same is true for workers who get coverage through their job; most large employers are continuing to cover their work force to the same extent as in the past, a survey found.

One company that was going to help enroll uninsured Floridians in health insurance through the federal online Marketplace has dropped out in the face of state officials’ continuing hostility to everything about the Affordable Care Act.

With the launch of new health insurance exchanges just about two weeks away, many of the questions in this month's mailbag focused less on the big picture and more on exactly how the law will operate for individuals.

We can't answer every question we get. But here is a sampling of questions that were really popular, or that would apply to a lot of people.

Floridians who will be shopping for health insurance on the new online marketplace might not know what companies they can choose from until the exchanges officially open on Oct. 1, the Orlando Sentinel reports. The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation says it will sign off on the companies by the time the exchanges go online, but it likely won’t be sooner.

Choice of doctors, hospitals and insurers in rural areas is limited now, and that won’t change right away when the federal health exchange opens on Oct. 1. But every county in Florida will have access to one or more plans from Florida Blue, formerly known as Blue Cross & Blue Shield, the Orlando Sentinel reports. 

The Major League Baseball season is now half over, and some fans are already starting to think about the World Series in October.

October is also a big month for the Obama administration.

That's when millions of Americans can start signing up for new health insurance policies through health exchanges established in each state under the Affordable Care Act.

Test-Driving The Obamacare Software

Jun 27, 2013

All the outreach in the world won't count for much if the Obamacare ticket counter doesn't work.

A national movement to find the uninsured and get them plugged into benefits under the Affordable Care Act kicked off Tuesday night at a house party  in Tampa.

The Harbour Island get-together, which attracted about 30 volunteers, was the first official event in the nation for Get Covered, America, organizers said. Other Get Covered events are scheduled for Wednesday in Phoenix, Ariz.,  and Austin, Texas. The official launch of the enrollment effort is Saturday.

More than 1.7 million Floridians will qualify for health insurance premium subsidies under the Affordable Care Act, according to a national consulting company report released Tuesday by the consumer group Families USA. 

But if surveys are any indication, those who will benefit probably don't know it.

It's Official: Feds to Run FL Health Exchange

Feb 16, 2013

Some people think this is bad news, while others think it's a good thing:  State officials are letting the federal government create and operate Florida's health insurance exchange for 2014.

Friday was the deadline for states that wanted to be partners in the exchange to notify Health and Human Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. And as Dara Kam of the Palm Beach Post reports, Florida let the deadline go by without acting.

Florida senators will be confronted with a barrage of data today when they hold hearings on the likely consequences of expanding Medicaid as part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. 

The Palm Beach Post rebukes Gov. Rick Scott and the Legislature in general -- in particular Sen. Joe Negron, who chairs a key committee on implementation of the federal health law -- for failing to do their jobs in time for insurers to file their 2014 plans and for Florida to run its own exchange.

Florida lawmakers, playing catch-up on the Affordable Care Act, got a break from Washington on Tuesday just before hearing from confused business owners, a worried widow and others.

Associated Press

This is the year that Florida will tackle a raft of controversial and difficult health programs, from the privatization of Medicaid to a debate over how to carry out the Affordable Care Act.