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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.

More Floridians Than Ever Enrolled In Marketplace Health Plans

Illustration of a woman pushing a grocery cart to shop for health insurance.

More than 1.9 million Floridians signed up for health coverage through the federal marketplace during the enrollment period that ended Dec. 17.

That's up more than 125,000 from last year and the highest number of enrollees in Florida since the marketplace began in 2014. Florida also had more enrollees than any of the 38 other states in the federal markeplace. Texas was second with 1.1 million. 

The numbers were released the same week that a federal appeals court panel ruled that the Affordable Care Act's mandate requiring most people to have coverage is unconstitutional now that Congress has eliminated the tax penalty intended to enforce it.

RELATED: Obamacare Takes Another Hit In Federal Appeals Court Ruling

Anne Swerlick, Senior Health Policy Analyst & Attorney for the Florida Policy Institute, said the latest enrollment numbers show that the law is more popular than ever.

"The longer it's in place, the more the word is out that this is giving people good, affordable coverage,” Swerlick said. “And all of that is at risk with this lawsuit."

An Urban Institute report released last year shows Florida will suffer more than just a higher uninsured rate if the Affordable Care Act is repealed.

"They projected a $9.3 billion reduction in federal spending and marketplace subsidies if the law was repealed,” Swerlick said. ‘And that of course would have tremendous impact on state and local economies."

The case goes back to a lower court to examine other aspects of the law, and is eventually expected to land in the Supreme Court. 

Overall, enrollment was down slightly with 8.3 million people enrolling through the marketplace, compared to 8.5 million last year.