Florida – As the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) insurance enrollment period draws to a close, Florida accounts for a significant portion of the nation’s new insurance plans. The state accounts for more than a quarter of all newly selected insurance plans in the United States, a remarkable statistic reflecting the state’s active participation in the ACA, commonly known as Obamacare.
Surge in Enrollment Numbers
According to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Florida has seen an impressive enrollment of 800,000 new insurance plans since the start of open enrollment on November 1. Nationwide, the ACA has witnessed 4 million new plans selected by consumers, totaling 20 million insurance plans. Florida’s enrollment figures are second only to Texas, which recorded 880,000 new plans.
In Central Florida, the scenario is similarly positive. The Primary Care Access Network (PCAN), which aids consumers in navigating the insurance marketplace, recorded an almost 18% increase in new enrollees seeking plans.
PCAN stands as a pivotal organization in Central Florida, offering free resources to help consumers find the best insurance plans for their personal needs. With 17 navigators who are fluent in languages like Vietnamese, Ukrainian, Russian, Portuguese, Creole, and Spanish, PCAN is instrumental in guiding diverse communities through the insurance selection process.
Lisa Reineck, the PCAN program manager, expressed that the rise in new consumers in Central Florida was not surprising, given the region’s broad scope. She attributed the increase not only to economic factors but also to the organization’s extensive outreach and advertising efforts.
Factors Influencing the Increase
Rebecca Sayago, the PCAN executive director, pointed out that new tax credits and the expansion of immigration statuses have played a crucial role in enabling more individuals to qualify for insurance. Notably, the Department of Homeland Security’s extension of the re-registration periods for the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) designations of countries like El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Nepal, Nicaragua, and Sudan until March 2025 significantly contributed to this. This extension allowed many individuals and families to become eligible for tax credits in the insurance marketplace.
Sayago emphasized, “The TPS expanded for another 24 months. That allows a lot of individuals and families to be eligible for these tax credits in the insurance marketplace.” She further explained how these developments have enhanced the capability of PCAN’s navigators to reach more consumers in need of healthcare plans.
For those looking to understand if they qualify for an ACA plan, contacting PCAN’s navigators is the recommended first step. Interested individuals can schedule an appointment with a navigator by visiting Coveringcfl.net or calling 1-877-564-5031. Returning customers are advised to allocate 30 minutes for consultation with a navigator, while new customers should plan for at least 90 minutes.
Special Enrollment Period
Although the final day of standard enrollment is after 11:59 p.m. Tuesday, a special enrollment period will commence starting Wednesday and continue through October 31. This special enrollment is available to those experiencing life-changing situations such as adopting a child, losing a job or insurance, or getting divorced. These circumstances allow individuals to enroll in or change their ACA plan outside the typical enrollment period.