The state is preparing for a sudden influx of registrations for the coverage ahead of the start of next year.
Florida is getting ready for a massive amount of registration within the state for health insurance that is required by the Affordable Care Act, and the federal government is planning to help to handle this challenge by hiring hundreds of “navigators” over the next few months in order to assist consumers.
It is expected that up to 3.5 million uninsured residents of Florida will purchase coverage by January.
It is in January of next year that the individual mandate element of the Affordable Care Act will go into effect, requiring everyone to purchase their health insurance coverage. The navigators will be headed to clinics, neighborhoods, schools, farm labor hubs, unemployment offices, churches, college campuses, and even businesses that are about to face layoffs. These and other areas where the uninsured are often found will be the targets of the navigators who will help people to obtain the coverage that they need.
The navigators will help people find health insurance and find out if they are eligible for tax credits.
This is meant to assist in creating awareness about the requirement for health insurance, and to help the uninsured to pay for the plans that they purchase. At the same time, groups who have already been making similar efforts to reach out to the uninsured in Florida believe that the state will continue to have a considerable coverage gap next year.
The reason for this is that the Florida Legislature is currently deadlocked in its reluctance to comply with the Affordable Care Act’s requirements, and its session finished back on May 3 without making any expansions to the state’s Medicaid program.
This has left the state – in which one in every five people are uninsured – with the same problems that it has already been facing with massive expenses to the healthcare system due to issues such as the number of people without health insurance. Hundreds of millions of dollars are being spent every year on uncompensated “charity” care, in which the costs associated with the uninsured are hefted onto the backs of those who are covered, as well as employers.