The New Year is finally here: 2014! Last year, HFGF gave Part I & Part II informative presentations of the Affordable Care Act in Tampa, Miami, Orlando, Gainesville, Jacksonville, and Fort Myers. Program speakers from Florida Blue and Health Insurance Brokers gave important information and provided immediate enrollment in the Marketplace, thereby avoiding enrollment problems that came about during the launch of the official WWW.healthcare.gov website.
In the paragraphs below, there is important information for you to use to gain more understanding about the Marketplace and where the state of Florida fits in the new healthcare system.
Floridians Leading the Nation in Federal Marketplace Applications
A report from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released December 10, 2013 states Floridians have signed up for federal Marketplace plans in greater numbers than in any other state. The HHS report indicates that more than 281,000 Floridians had applied for coverage by the end of November. Additionally, over 75,000 Floridians have already been determined eligible to enroll in a Marketplace plan with financial assistance, more than in any other state so far. Read more coverage about health coverage enrollment from the Associated Press in The Tampa Tribune (Published:
As you know, the deadline for enrollment in the Marketplace was December 23, 2013, and the last day to pay for the 1st premium was December 31, 2013 in order for your insurance to be effective on January 1, 2014. Because of the computer glitches, the President extended the date for premium payment to January 1, 2014. Coverage will be in effect on this day.
Key Date to Remember
- •If you did not enroll in the Marketplace and/or pay the 1st premium installment by January 1, 2013, you have until March 31, 2014 to do so. Coverage will begin on April 1, 2014.
- •Everyone must have health insurance by March 31, 2014 to avoid the monetary penalty.
- •After open enrollment ends on March 31, 2014, you won't be able to get health coverage through the Marketplace until the next annual enrollment period November 15, 2014, unless you have a qualifying life event. (A change in your life that can make you eligible for a Special Enrollment Period to enroll in health coverage. Examples of qualifying life events are moving to a new state, certain changes in your income, changes in your family size (recent marriage, divorce, or birth of a child.).
The Affordable Care Act Brings Improvements to the Coverage Safety Net Medicaid Program in 2014
Although the Florida Legislature has yet to expand Medicaid, stranding hundreds of thousands of low-income, uninsured Floridians with no hope for coverage, a small number of residents who didn't qualify in 2013 may still be eligible starting January 1, thanks to automatic Affordable Care Act changes that are unrelated to expansion.
These changes are part of a “No Wrong Door” system” (three Insurance Affordability Programs that will help low- and middle-income Floridians get and keep good health coverage. Eligibility for each program is determined by a different entity. This benefit is often an overlooked component of the ACA that will result in real-time eligibility determination and eliminate “falling through the cracks” between programs. Under No Wrong Door, Floridians will be enrolled in the coverage they’re eligible for (family-related Medicaid, CHIP or Premium Tax Credits in the Marketplace), even if they applied for a different program.
To implement No Wrong Door, some rules were changed in Medicaid and CHIP. For one, all programs now use (almost) identical applications; Florida’s new application debuted on December 23, 2014. Also, all three programs count and calculate income the same way, using a method called Modified Adjusted Gross Income (MAGI). Some Floridians may be newly eligible because of MAGI, including some parents who receive child support or have limited savings. Read more by going to www.fcfep.org Florida Center for Fiscal and Economic Policy or send questions and stories of your experiences with the Marketplace to . You can also call toll-free (352-4246).
Time Running Out for Health Care Expansion!
The clock is ticking, and there are only 11 days left until Florida begins losing billions of valuable federal health care expansion dollars. When the time runs out, hardworking Floridians will be left stranded with no health care option. In Florida, an estimated one million individuals would qualify for Medicaid coverage under a newly expanded program. These individuals are working, fall just above the current Medicaid eligibility, but still cannot afford private insurance.
A recent report on what states stand to gain or lose in Medicaid expansion says that while Florida is not only forfeiting $9.6 billion in federal tax dollars by rejecting Medicaid expansion, it will also be sending close to $5 billion of Florida tax revenue to subsidize health care in other states. Read more about what Florida is losing by going to HealthNewsFlorida.org.