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Health News Florida
Healthy State tells the stories you need to know to stay well, with a special focus on Florida.We'll bring you the latest fitness trends, new research on preventing and treating disease, and information about how health policy impacts your pocketbook.We report on health using all the tools at our disposal -- video, audio, photos and text -- to bring these stories to life.Healthy State is a project of WUSF Public Media in Tampa and is heard on public radio stations throughout Florida. It also is available online at wusfnews.org.

Nearly 1M Floridians Enroll

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Credit healthcare.gov

Nearly 1 million Floridians signed up for a health insurance plan through the federally-run Health Insurance Marketplace during the first open enrollment period, according to numbers from the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.

Among the states using the federal government's exchange -- healthcare.gov-- Florida had the highest number, with 983,479 enrolled.

 Federal health officials said they don't have data yet on how many people have paid their plan premiums; that information is expected later this year. 

Across the country, more than 8 million people enrolled in plans through federal- and state-based exchanges created under the Affordable Care Act. 

"We were able to get so many covered because of an unprecedented outreach and enrollment effort that focused on some of our most vulnerable and under-insured populations," HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said. 

Enrollment numbers surged in the final weeks in Florida, saidJulieBataille, a spokeswoman for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

"When individuals saw what the Marketplace offered for them and the fact that they could now afford to purchase coverage that made a difference for themselves and their families, that was the best point of information that made people understand what this was all about and helped them to then share that with others across the state,"Bataillesaid. 

She also credited the success of Florida’s enrollment to on-the-ground outreach efforts, in-person navigators and application counselors, andSebelius’many visits to cities around the state.

Here is a lookat Florida's enrollment numbers by gender, age, tax subsidy use and plan type (Bronze, Silver, Gold or Platinum).  Nearly three-quarters selected a Silver plan, and 91 percent of enrollees qualified for tax subsidies to help them pay for a plan.  

--Health News Florida is part of WUSF Public Media. Contact Lottie Watts at 813-974-8705 (desk) or e-mail at lottiewatts@wusf.org. For more health news, visit HealthNewsFlorida.org.

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