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Nearly half a million more children were uninsured in 2018 than in 2017, according to data out Tuesday from the U.S. Census Bureau. The drop stems primarily from a decline in the number of children covered by public programs such programs as Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program.

State Uninsured Rate Increases, Tops National Average

Sep 13, 2018

More than 2.6 million people in Florida lacked health insurance at some point in 2017, according to data released Wednesday by the U.S. Census Bureau.

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In this podcast, WUSF's Robin Sussingham, Stephanie Colombini and Julio Ochoa break down the recent Florida Matters Town Hall that was recorded in front of a live audience in St. Petersburg.

Florida Health Report Card Comes Back With Failing Grades

May 9, 2018

Florida’s health report is in and the grades don’t look good. 

ADA Foundation

Low income kids in Pinellas County can see a dentist for free Monday and organizers hope more children will take part this year.

Daylina Miller / WUSF Public Media

What’s The Solution? Delivering Health Care To Uninsured Floridians

For the past six months Health News Florida has told the stories of people without insurance who use free clinics throughout the Tampa Bay area. Now we’re inviting the community to take part in that conversation during a special taping of Florida Matters. Join us for a panel discussion on providing care to the uninsured.

During a routine visit at the St. Petersburg Free Clinic, Dr. Ajoy Kumar was going over blood test results with a 46-year-old patient named Paul.

Let’s say you have health insurance through your employer and live in one of 21 states with laws protecting consumers against surprise medical bills from out-of-network providers.

Should one of those unwanted bills land in your mailbox, you can turn to your state law and regulators for help, right?

Not necessarily.

A mild stroke sent St. Petersburg resident Lori Ngo to the hospital in May.

She was feeling a pain in her leg, but didn't think much of it.

Budget Office: Senate Health Bill Adds 22 Million Uninsured

Jun 27, 2017

The Senate Republican health care bill would leave 22 million more Americans uninsured in 2026 than under President Barack Obama's health care law, the Congressional Budget Office estimated Monday, complicating GOP leaders' hopes of pushing the plan through the chamber this week.

About a fifth of Floridians are over the age of 65.

But instead of planning for final expenses, a recent AAA survey found half of Sunshine State residents don’t have life insurance.

Myths about coverage could be driving the low enrollment.


State Mulls Possible End to Health-Funding Program

Jan 8, 2015
Agency for Health Care Administration

State health-care officials expect to receive a report next week that spells out options for dealing with the possible end of a program that has provided $1 billion a year to help care for low-income and uninsured people.

The Low Income Pool, or LIP, program is scheduled to expire June 30, unless the federal government approves an extension.

A lot more Floridians have health coverage compared to a year ago, but the state continues to have one of the nation’s highest uninsured rates, two new studies show.

A year ago, Manatee County voters nixed a half-cent sales tax to provide health care for poor residents. Now, county commissioners are thinking about starting over again.

Eight groups that are hiring and training "navigators" to help uninsured Floridians enroll in Obamacare have been sent letters by a U.S. House committee seeking information on their activities  -- a letter that some have called "intimidating."

Two of the groups are public entities: University of South Florida and Pinellas County Board of Commissioners.

Florida has the second-highest rate of uninsured adults under 65 in the nation, second only to Texas, the Naples Daily News reports. U.S. Census figures from 2011 show nearly 25 percent of Floridians under 65 don’t have health insurance -- a total of about 3.8 million residents. The 2011 rate, 24.8 percent, is down slightly from 25.3 in 2010.

Health policy and political consultants say that for the Affordable Care Act to succeed, politically and substantively, organizing efforts must focus on three states with large numbers of uninsured: Florida, Texas and California. Unfortunately for Democrats and the law’s supporters, as Politico reports, two of those states are run by Republicans who are trying to hamper the enrollment effort.

At 7 a.m. on a Monday morning, poor people who don’t qualify for government health programs such as Medicaid are lined up outside a health department building on a busy street in St. Petersburg.

Some lean against the wall; others sit on the ground, too sick to stand.

At 7:30, the doors will open and those who are waiting will rush – or limp – inside to take a number. Lucky ones will get to see a doctor. First-come, first-served.