The Florida Health Care Insurance Advisory Board has released its annual report on the rate of enrollment in the myriad of health insurance plans found throughout the state. The report shows that enrollment has fallen by 4.3% in 2010. This marks the fifth consecutive year that enrollment rates have fallen in the state, which means that more people are living without some kind of health insurance. The report makes note of the lingering economic turmoil that is left over from the 2008 recession and how that might be contributing to the problem.
In 2006, some 4.5 million people enrolled in a health insurance program. Last year, however, that number fell to 3.7 million. The report shows that enrollment under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act has spiked by 30%. The federal legislation allows individuals who have lost their health care coverage due to extenuating circumstances to obtain insurance coverage from a private or state-run insurance organization. Last year, more than 100,000 people received insurance coverage under this law.
The Health Care Insurance Advisory Board believes that the financial impact of the recent recession plays a major role in why enrollment rates continue to drop. Legislators may have to find ways to stimulate the economy in order to solve the problem. If the insurance mandate of the Affordable Care Act remains intact next year, those without health insurance could be faced with steep fines from the federal government, which could translate into further problems for the state.