Obamacare

The families of more than 35,000 children enrolled in the Florida Healthy Kids program will soon have to choose between two more expensive plans, or find new insurance.

The monthly premiums for many of the plans sold on the federal health insurance marketplace will be increasing for Floridians in 2016, according to the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation. 

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Health care sharing ministries, an alternative to health insurance allowed under the Affordable Care Act, have grown in popularity since 2010 with about 450,000 Americans now participating, the Tampa Bay Times reports.

Daylina Miller / Health News Florida

Last month's ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court on the Affordable Care Act means more than 1.4 million Floridians will keep their tax subsidies for health plans purchased on the federal marketplace at HealthCare.gov. 

Florida and three dozen other states opted to use the federal marketplace instead of creating their own. That prompted a case that challenged the availability of tax subsidies for people in states that did not create their own marketplaces.

Following a trend among other health care groups trying to improve their bottom line, Planned Parenthood has merged offices in Orlando, Naples and Sarasota to create Planned Parenthood of Southeast and Central Florida, the Orlando Sentinel reports. Planned Parenthood says it now has many more patients who have health coverage under the Affordable Care Act, and it has had to hire more staff to handle the 25 third-party health insurance contracts.

Florida Office of Insurance Regulation

An analysis by the South Florida Business Journal of Florida Office of Insurance Regulation data on HMOs shows nearly half of Florida’s managed-care health insurance companies lost money in 2014.

http://boehner.house.gov/

Having lost their latest war against President Barack Obama's health care overhaul, Republicans must decide how to wage battles that could fan the issue for the 2016 elections.

Last month's Supreme Court decision upholding the statute's federal subsidies, which help millions of Americans afford health care, shattered the GOP's best chance of forcing Obama to accept a weakening of his prized law. Without that leverage, Obama would likely veto any major changes they'd send him.

The Republican-controlled Florida House voted along party lines on Friday to retain — for now — the rates that Gov. Rick Scott and thousands of state workers are currently paying for health insurance.

FL Tops U.S. For Health Subsidies

Jun 3, 2015

More than 10 million people have signed up for private health insurance this year under the federal health law, the administration said Tuesday. That puts the nation finally within reach of coverage for all, but it may not last.

The report from the Department of Health and Human Services comes as dozens of insurers are proposing double-digit premium hikes for next year, raising concerns about future affordability. And the Supreme Court is weighing the legality of subsidized premiums for millions of consumers in more than 30 states. A decision is due around the end of the month.

Florida Legislature
Florida House of Representatives

The Florida Legislature kicked off a 20-day special session Monday, with legislative leaders sounding more open to compromise as they race against the clock to pass a new state budget.

The conciliatory tone espoused by House Speaker Steve Crisafulli and Senate President Andy Gardiner was different than it was just a few weeks ago when the Republican-controlled Legislature ended its session amid finger-pointing and lawsuits.

Florida Senate

  

Republican leaders in the Florida Senate offered up a revamped health care proposal Tuesday in an effort to end a budget stalemate that threatens to shut down state government, but the proposal was immediately rejected by Gov. Rick Scott and House GOP leaders.

Legislators are scheduled to return to the state Capitol next week for a 20-day special session where they are expected to pass a new state budget.

Five years after the Affordable Care Act passed, the law's provision allowing the expansion of Medicaid coverage to more people is still causing huge fights in state legislatures.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott, a longtime opponent of "Obamacare," made a startling announcement shortly after his mother's death, going on TV two years ago to explain that he had dropped his objections to President Barack Obama's health care overhaul.

The Republican governor, a former hospital executive who entered politics running TV ads against the Affordable Care Act, said then in 2013 that his mother's death had changed his perspective, and that he could no longer "in good conscience" oppose expanding health care coverage to nearly 1 million Floridians.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

The Obama administration rebuffed Florida's Gov. Rick Scott's proposal to extend federal funds for hospitals that treat the uninsured, increasing the pressure on states that have refused to expand coverage for low-income people under the president's health care law.

Florida Republican Gov. Rick Scott says he and the Obama administration are still far apart on health care financing issues that have paralyzed the state's efforts to pass a new budget.

After meeting privately with federal Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell on Wednesday, Scott said the two "had a good conversation," but added, "we don't have resolution."

Thursday, April 30 is the last day for people in Florida and the three dozen other states that use the federal health insurance marketplace to buy a health insurance plan on HealthCare.gov.  

Federal health officials had extended enrollment for a few weeks under a for people who didn't know they could face a tax penalty for not having health coverage.  

The penalty for going without insurance in 2015 is $325 dollars, or 2 percent of your income, whichever is greater.  

Associated Press

Florida Gov. Rick Scott sued the Obama administration Tuesday, charging that federal officials are coercing the state to expand Medicaid in order to get $1 billion in federal hospital funds.

The Republican governor points to a 2012 U.S. Supreme Court decision saying the federal government can't coerce states to expand Medicaid, which is exactly what he says the Obama administration is doing by withholding hospital funds.

People in Florida and the three dozen other states that use the online federal insurance marketplace at HealthCare.gov have a little time left to shop for health insurance.

This special enrollment period for insurance plans under the federal health law runs through Thursday, April 30.

It’s for people who didn't know -- or understand -- that they could face a tax penalty for not having health coverage, according to federal officials.

Surgeon General Gets Rough Treatment in Senate

Apr 8, 2015
University of South Florida

In another sign of growing tension about a Senate plan to expand health coverage for low-income Floridians, a Senate committee Tuesday tabled the confirmation of state Surgeon General John Armstrong after questioning him about the issue.

The move by the Senate Health Policy Committee came a day after Gov. Rick Scott --- Armstrong's boss --- opposed the plan to use federal money to provide health coverage to an estimated 800,000 Floridians through a private insurance system.

Megan Milanese

When President Barack Obama signed the Affordable Care Act five years ago, he visualized a time when the political hyperbole would be silenced and ordinary people would see that the health care law improved their lives.

The White House ceremony on March 23, 2010, was an applause-filled celebration. "When I sign this bill," Obama said, "all of the overheated rhetoric over reform will finally confront the reality of reform."

USF Health News

When federal money’s on the table, most states go for it like coupon-clippers at a closeout sale.

But studies show that when it comes to seeking federal money, Florida holds back, particularly in health care. Sometimes, the state changes its mind later and asks for its share of the money, only to discover that it’s too late; other states have made off with it.

HealthCare.gov

Florida ranks No. 2 in the nation in the rate of residents without health insurance, but that figure has declined since 2010.

Figures released by the U.S. Census Bureau on Tuesday show that Florida had an uninsured rate of 24.3 percent in 2013. Only Texas had a higher rate at 24.8 percent.

The lowest rate was 4.3 percent in Massachusetts.

Despite the high ranking, Florida's uninsured rate has declined since 2010 when it was 25.3 percent.

HealthCare.gov

Several million Americans hit with new federal fines for going without health insurance are getting a second chance to sign up, and that could ease the sting of rising penalties for being uninsured.

But as the enrollment window reopened on Sunday in Florida and the 36 other states that use the federal health insurance marketplace at HealthCare.gov, it’s unclear how many know about the time-limited opportunity, let alone will take advantage of it.

No Medicaid Expansion? No Problem For Many Safety-Net Hospital Profits

Mar 4, 2015

Hospitals that treat many poor and uninsured patients were expected to face tough financial times in states that did not expand Medicaid under the federal law known as Obamacare.

That’s because they would get less Medicare and Medicaid funding under the Affordable Care Act, while still having to provide high levels of charity care.

The Florida Senate is getting ready to debate expanding Medicaid in Florida. The issue has been a major contention point between the House and Senate for the past three years.

U.S. House of Representatives

Congressional Republicans sent a message Monday that they hope the Supreme Court and voters will hear: They have ideas to keep the country's health care system from crumbling if the justices obliterate a bedrock feature of President Barack Obama's heath care law.

The deadline to buy health insurance coverage for 2015 has come and gone. But some people without insurance are just finding out now that they have to pay a tax penalty, and they're getting another chance to sign up.

Federal health officials announced Friday morning that they’re offering a new, special open enrollment period for consumers who are preparing their 2014 taxes now and figuring out that they owe a tax penalty under the Affordable Care Act.

This extra time will be for consumers to buy coverage for 2015, and avoid paying a penalty when they file their 2015 taxes.

AP

Florida has eclipsed California to become the state with the highest number of consumers buying health coverage through new insurance markets under the Affordable Care Act, according to federal statistics released Wednesday.

Ahead of the Sunday deadline to sign up for insurance on HealthCare.gov, the latest enrollment numbers show that close to 1.4 million people in Florida have signed up. That's more than any other state that uses the federal marketplace.

The state-run health insurance marketplace Florida Health Choices has enrolled just 66 people despite spending $75,000 on outreach efforts, the Palm Beach Post reports. 

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