Florida led with the most people in the nation signing up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), with more than 3.2 million people enrolled, or 20% of the nation’s total.
A record 16.3 million people nationwide signed up for Obamacare plans during the open enrollment period, which began Nov. 1 and ended Jan. 15, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) reported Wednesday.
In Florida, enrollment reached 3.2 million, a 19% increase over the previous year under the health care law more commonly known as Obamacare.
The 3.2 million represent 20% of all registrants nationwide, even though Florida, the country’s third most populous state with 22 million people, represents about 7% of the US population.
Although county-specific data is not yet available for the 2023 enrollment period, Miami-Dade previously led the nation in Obamacare enrollments.
For Dr. Olvin Carrasquillo, a professor at the University of Miami (UM) and an ACA expert, the increase in enrollment in Florida is likely a sign of outreach efforts, a lack of jobs that offer health coverage, and that Florida is one of 11 states . Which did not expand Medicaid eligibility through the ACA.
According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP), about 425,000 adults in Florida do not have health insurance because they are too poor to be covered under the ACA and the state has not expanded Medicaid. More than half of those adults are Hispanic or black.
“It shows that there is a great need for health insurance in our state,” said Carrasquillo, UM dean of clinical and translational research and co-director of the Clinical Translational Science Institute (CTSI). Nearly one million Floridians could lose their Medicaid coverage starting in April after the federal COVID-19 emergency ends and Florida does not expand its Medicaid eligibility.