Last year, about one in five Floridians were uninsured. This year, quite a few more have health insurance thanks to the Affordable Care Act. The Department of Health and Human Services announced today that 983,775 Floridians signed up for Obamacare plans. That's the second-highest number of any state, behind only California.
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Meanwhile, California had set up its own health-care marketplace. Floridians had to rely on the initially glitchy HealthCare.gov website because Rick Scott and the state government declined to set up their own exchange.
"More than 983,775 Floridians signed up through the marketplace, demonstrating brisk demand for quality, affordable coverage," said Kathleen Sebelius, secretary of health and human services.
More than half of those Florida enrollments came in March, just before the sign-up deadline. That surge was in part thanks to health-care activists reaching out to the uninsured in the final month.
Thirty-one percent of Floridians to sign up were under the age of 35, which Seblius touted as a sign that younger, healthier enrollees have take advantage of the act.
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Nearly 91 percent of Floridians who signed up also received some sort of assistance to pay for their plans through aid such as tax credits.
"I am excited to learn that Florida leads the nation in Marketplace health-care enrollment figures among those in the federal exchange," Democratic Congressman Joe Garica said in a statement. "With nearly one million Floridians now enrolled in Florida, it shows how many people, who otherwise wouldn't have been able to obtain affordable health care, are able to get the care they need and deserve. Similarly, with more than 200,000 new Medicaid/CHIP enrollees, its critical our Florida legislature and Governor understand the significance of expanding Medicaid in our state."