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Most Cancelled Policyholders Could Get Subsidies: Report

Most Americans who hold individual health policies that don’t meet requirements under the Affordable Care Act for 2014 could get better plans with subsidies through the Health Insurance Marketplace, according to a consumer group.

About two-thirds of Floridians who hold such policies have incomes between 100 and 400 percent of the poverty level, the report from Families USA says. That means that if and when they check, they’ll find they qualify for tax credits that bring down the premium cost.

In terms of numbers, about 915,000 Floridians have bought individual health policies because they don’t get coverage at work or through some other source, the report says. Of those, about 606,000 fall within the boundaries for subsidies.

Families USA, which supports full implementation of the act, did further, more speculative, calculations about how many people would have lost their coverage anyone because of the churn in the individual market.

Many of those who hold individual policies -- including 300,000 insured through Florida Blue -- received letters saying their coverage would be canceled as of Jan. 1.  Other insurers took similar actions nationwide. The reaction was so fierce that President Obama said those who wanted to hold on to those policies could do so for another year.

The take-away message from the Families USA report is that those who hold such policies may want to check to see whether they can get a better policy for an affordable price. While there are still problems with the website, the White House says most who try to use it can now get through.

Originally founded in December 2006 as an independent grassroots publication dedicated to coverage of health issues in Florida, Health News Florida was acquired by WUSF Public Media in September 2012.