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Shorter window to enroll for health insurance


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Floridians without health insurance will have half as much time to buy a plan for next year or face a penalty. The shorter time frame is just one challenge facing President Obama’s signature healthcare law in Florida.

When the HealthCare.Gov website launched in 2013, it was hampered by glitches that stopped people from signing up. This year the challenge is less likely to be technical – but there’s a shorter window to enroll consumers.

An estimated 1.5 million Floridians still need to sign up.

“Less than 2 out of 5 people who are uninsured are aware that subsidies exist, and if they’re unaware of it, they probably still believe health insurance is unaffordable,” said Ryan Pollack, executive director of the nonpartisan health care advocacy organization Families USA, on a conference call with reporters.

One of the groups tasked with making signing up for health insurance easier is Florida Covering Kids & Families.  Project Director Jodi Ray says the I-4 corridor has some unique challenges to signing people up for coverage.

“In some of the counties like Lake County and areas of Orange and Seminole and even Hillsborough county there are some real language barriers, so it’s been really important to those initiatives in those areas that they hire folks who speak the native languages,” Ray said.

Penalties for not having insurance will double next year, and the average cost of insurance is expected to go up about 13 percent. Open enrollment starts November 15th and runs for three months.


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Abe Aboraya

About Abe Aboraya

Health Reporter / Special Project: ProPublica

Abe Aboraya started writing for newspapers in High School. After graduating from the University of Central Florida in 2007, he spent a year traveling and working as a freelance reporter for the Seattle Times and the Seattle Weekly, and working for local news websites in the San Francisco Bay area. Most recently Abe ... Read Full Bio »

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