uninsured

Daylina Miller/Health News Florida

Donald Trump came into office promising to repeal Obamacare and replace it with something more affordable that would cover everyone. But members of congress couldn't agree on what that should be.

Julio Ochoa / WUSF Public Media

During a routine visit at the St. Petersburg Free Clinic, Dr. Ajoy Kumar was going over blood test results with a 46-year-old patient named Paul.

Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Latinos, who just a year ago were highly sought customers for the Affordable Care Act’s marketplace plans may not get the same hard sell this year.

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.

Census: Many Counties In Florida Have High Uninsured Rates

May 16, 2016

Nearly half of the counties in Florida have high numbers of uninsured adults according to new estimates released this week by the United States Census Bureau.

Hispanic Children’s Uninsured Rate Hits Record Low, Study Finds

Jan 20, 2016

The rate of Hispanic children without health insurance fell to a historic low in 2014, the first year that key parts of Obamacare took effect, but they still represent a disproportionate share of the nation’s uninsured youth, according to a new study.

HealthCare.gov

The Obama administration says it's getting harder to sign up those remaining uninsured under the president's health care law. 

Associated Press

The percentage of Americans without health insurance dropped by nearly three percentage points between 2013 and 2014, according the U.S. Census Bureau, from 13.3 to 10.4 percent. Put another way, 8.8 million more people were insured in 2014 than the year before.

Older, Uninsured Adults from 12 To 8 Percent

May 26, 2015

The health law’s expansion of Medicaid coverage to adults with incomes over the poverty line was key to reducing the uninsured rate among 50- to 64-year-olds from nearly 12 to 8 percent in 2014, according to a new analysis.

“Clearly most of the gains in coverage were in Medicaid or non-group coverage,” says study co-author Jane Sung, a senior strategic policy adviser at the AARP Public Policy Institute, which conducted the study with the Urban Institute.

A Senate health committee learned Wednesday that an independent review of the Low-Income Pool funding for poor and uninsured people should be submitted by next week, the News Service of Florida reports. Federal officials required an independent study of possible changes in the program, which provides the state $1 Billion a year, but is set to expire June 30, according to the News Service.

When it comes to children getting insurance, there’s good news and bad news. The good news: the number of uninsured children in Florida has dropped—as it has across the county. The bad news: Florida remains near the top of states with the number of kids who don’t have health insurance.

The rate of Floridians without health insurance stayed the same in 2013 from the previous year, according to figures released Tuesday by the U.S. Census Bureau.

Twenty percent of Floridians lacked health insurance last year, down slightly from a rate of 20.1 percent in 2012. But the change was within the margin of error, rendering it insignificant.

Nationwide, the rate was 14.5 percent.

Income inequality perpetuates a vicious cycle of problems including poor health, says Gary Stein, a columnist with Context Florida.

Executives at corporations such as United HealthCare get paychecks hundreds of times larger than the average minimum wage worker. Meanwhile these working poor families can’t afford health insurance, or nutritious food, he says.

Stein challenges employers to break the cycle by increasing minimum wage, similar to what the owner of Detroit’s “Moo, Cluck Moo” has done.

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.

Because of the U.S. Supreme Court decision and Florida’s anti-Obamacare politics, legal immigrants will qualify for subsidies on health plans in this state even as citizens under the poverty level get turned away. 

As The Associated Press reports from Miami, many low-income uninsured are baffled that they don’t qualify for a tax credit.

Miami lawmakers are proposing a bill that would eliminate the five-year waiting period before children of legal immigrants can enroll in Florida KidCare, the Herald/Times Tallahassee Bureau reports (paywall alert).

State Sen. Rene Garcia, R-Hialeah, and state Rep. Jose Felix Diaz, R-Miami, say changing the rule would allow about 26,000 low-income children to get health coverage subsidized by state and federal funds. 

MIAMI  - The so-called "young invincibles" are so important to the success of the Affordable Care Act that supporters and detractors are spending millions to reach them with racy ads, social media campaigns and celebrity endorsements.

The president is even (gasp) asking their mothers to help convince them to sign up for insurance.

The federal government and states running their own exchanges have launched marketing efforts for this crucial demographic of healthy young adults, but it's unclear if the messages are getting through.

Florida Today

(UPDATED) Thousands of previously uninsured Floridians woke up Wednesday morning with peace of mind for the first time in years: They had a health insurance card, or at least the promise that one is in the mail.

They're the lucky ones who were able to get through the enrollment process in the federal Health Insurance Marketplace website, Healthcare.gov, by Christmas Eve.  Coverage through the exchange is one of the key parts of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act that took effect Jan. 1.

About 11 percent of children in Florida are uninsured, one of the highest rates in the nation, according to a new report from the Georgetown University Center for Children and Families. The report noted a 1.8 percent decline in the rate from 2010 to 2012 in Florida.

Columnist Wayne Ezell of the Florida Times-Union excoriates the Florida House Speaker for placing politics -- opposition to anything President Obama supports -- above the health and safety of hundreds of thousands of the poorest Floridians.

Florida lands near the bottom of the states in a new Commonwealth Fund study that compares 30 performance measures of health-system access, prevention, quality and outcomes.

Florida has the second-highest rate of uninsured adults under 65 in the nation, second only to Texas, the Naples Daily News reports. U.S. Census figures from 2011 show nearly 25 percent of Floridians under 65 don’t have health insurance -- a total of about 3.8 million residents, the Miami Herald reports.

Health policy and political consultants say that for the Affordable Care Act to succeed, politically and substantively, organizing efforts must focus on three states with large numbers of uninsured: Florida, Texas and California. Unfortunately for Democrats and the law’s supporters, as Politico reports, two of those states are run by Republicans who are trying to hamper the enrollment effort.

There may be a way for 1 million below-poverty-level uninsured Floridians to gain access to health coverage, even though the state legislature voted against Medicaid expansion.

Uninsured Americans who are hoping the new health insurance law will give them access to weight loss treatments are likely to be disappointed.

That's especially the case in the Deep South, where obesity rates are among the highest in the nation, and states will not require health plans sold on the new online insurance marketplaces to cover medical weight loss treatments like prescription drugs and bariatric surgery.

At 7 a.m. on a Monday morning, poor people who don’t qualify for government health programs such as Medicaid are lined up outside a health department building on a busy street in St. Petersburg. 

Some lean against the wall; others sit on the ground, too sick to stand. 

At 7:30, the doors will open and those who are waiting will rush – or limp – inside to take a number. Lucky ones will get to see a doctor. First-come, first-served.

Arkansas' state legislature passed a model plan to expand Medicaid last week, even though its Legislature is dominated by Republicans and the measure had to pass by a three-quarters vote, the Associated Press reports.

The Arkansas plan is the model for Florida state Sen. Joe Negron's plan, which would accept an estimated $51 billion in federal funds over 10 years to expand insurance to about 1 million of the state's low-income uninsured.

State Sen. Joe Negron's Healthy Florida plan, which would use federal funds to cover low-income uninsured,  has run into a wall:the Florida House. Rather than try to bulldoze the wall, Senate leaders say they're searching for middle ground.

Medicaid Funding Frenzy Grows at Capitol

Apr 10, 2013

Republicans who control the Florida House hint they're about to unveil their version of a health plan for the state's low-income uninsured between now and Monday. It appears that they still intend to turn down more than $50 billion in federal funds that would pay the tab.

Meanwhile, calls grew louder for House leaders to accept the money. Gov. Rick Scott said, "We're already paying the taxes" and the money will simply go to another state if Florida turns it down.  State Rep. Mike Fasano went farther, saying he hopes his fellow House Republicans "come to their senses."

The only way to keep premiums from soaring is to make sure that healthy people sign up for coverage as quickly as sick people do. But in states like Florida and Texas, which have millions of uninsured, who will get the word out, and how?

There are only six months before shopping on the federal exchange begins. Kaiser Health News reports on this conundrum.

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