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health insurance Marketplace

Florida Blue will file its proposed rates for the Affordable Care Act marketplace this week and officials warn they could increase by 20 percent if the federal government stops funding the cost sharing measures that are included in Obamacare.

Two weeks before the federal Health Insurance Marketplace opens for enrollment, a major national company is withdrawing its Florida plans from the exchange. 

The U.S. Supreme Court will soon decide whether health insurance subsidies for millions of Americans in 34 states, are legal. And if the high court says they aren’t, 1.3 million Floridians could lose their health insurance, or end up paying far more for it.

The University of South Florida has been awarded by far the largest grant in the state to hire "navigators" who help uninsured people sign up for health insurance coverage through the federal Marketplace, the Department of Health and Human Services announced Monday.

Only two other Florida organizations won  navigator grants: the Epilepsy Foundation of Florida, $871,275, and the Pinellas County Commission, $535,156. 

Quietly and without much fanfare, Florida’s health insurance marketplace made its debut earlier this week, but it should not to be confused with the federal health insurance exchanges and Obamacare.

“We’re not in competition with the federal exchange. We’re not offering subsidies—those can only come from the federal exchange," says Florida Health Choices Director Rose Naff, who  is quick to point out the differences between the program she’s running—and that of the federal government.

Is FL a Risk to Healthcare.gov?

Feb 26, 2014

Security experts working for the federal government last fall said two-thirds of state computer systems that were supposed to tap into federal computers to verify personal information for coverage were rated as "high risk" for security problems, the Associated Press reports.

According to a map from the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Florida was one of the states the security experts identified as having a risky connection point.

Between Oct. 1 and end of December, the federal health exchange at healthcare.gov had processed nearly 560,000 coverage applications in Florida and completed about 158,000 actual enrollments.

www.wkow.com

More Floridians are signing up for the new federal health insurance program than residents in any other state relying on the federal exchange, with nearly 18,000 registering over the last two months, according to figures released Wednesday.

Nearly 14,500 Floridians signed up under the Affordable Care Act in November. That compares to about 11,000 in Texas - another populous state that's using the federal government's website, according to enrollment statistics from the Health and Human Services Department

Less than three weeks remain for uninsured Floridians to sign up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act if they want coverage as of Jan. 1.  So navigators were relieved to find the federal health website running smoothly on Monday. 

John Petrila's health policy class at the University of South Florida is full of undergraduate students glued to their smartphones, tablets and laptops. A perfect place, he reasoned, to test the Healthcare.gov website. 

“These folks are savvy. Every person in here is a tech savvy person whose used to being online,” Petrila said. “No one's in here thinking, ‘Well, what's the Internet?’ If these folks can't navigate this website, then that's a serious problem."

Starting Oct. 1, millions of uninsured people around the country are going to have a new place to shop for health insurance, but many still don’t know about this provision of the Affordable Care Act. 

Take Maggie Banta, a St. Petersburg woman who works a part-time job that doesn’t offer insurance. She is likely to find affordable coverage on the Marketplace, but she said she didn’t even know that was an option.

Lottie Watts / WUSF

When the new online health insurance marketplace opens Oct. 1, millions of people will be able to buy insurance at the click of a mouse. The federal government has a website and a hotline people can call for help. But they'll also have people who can help face-to-face. They're called "navigators." During a stop at the USF Tampa campus last week, U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said "navigators" will assist many people who have never been enrolled in a health plan before.