December 15th Deadline Approaching To Obtain Affordable Care Act Marketplace Coverage That Will Start On January 1, 2023
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 12, 2022
Covering Florida, the statewide consortium of Certified Marketplace Navigator organizations and public health advocates, is advising Florida health care consumers that in order to secure health care coverage that starts on January 1st 2023, enrollment must be completed by December 15th. Covering Florida’s trained and Certified Marketplace Navigators are available in each of the 67 counties in the State of Florida to provide consumers with unbiased assistance to enroll in the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) Health Insurance Marketplace during the Open Enrollment Period, at no charge to Floridians. The ACA Navigator program is funded by the federal government to provide one-on-one assistance to help healthcare consumers understand their options and apply for health insurance coverage through the Marketplace, which was established under the ACA in 2010. The statewide toll-free consumer phone number to reach a Covering Florida Navigator is 877-813-9115.
Covering Florida’s longtime Project Director, Jodi Ray, urged Floridians to enroll now. “Last week, President Biden announced that during the current Open Enrollment that began on November 1st, nearly 3.4 million people nationwide have already selected an Affordable ACA Marketplace health insurance plan. New customers enrolling on Healthcare.gov are up nearly 40% over last year. Here in Florida alone, there have been 896,672 enrollees through Week 3 of Open Enrollment. We want to encourage anyone who still needs to enroll to call and make a free appointment with one of our Navigators right now, and avoid the last-minute rush before the December 15th deadline.”
Current Health Insurance Marketplace customers should be aware that if they don’t enroll in a new plan by December 15, their current policy might be automatically renewed by their current insurance carrier with different coverages and/or costs. Consumers who are new to the Health Insurance Marketplace may find that their families are qualified for coverage in Florida’s Medicaid or KidCare program. Most Medicaid beneficiaries pay little or no premiums. Covering Florida Navigators can help get consumers ready to start the new year with uninterrupted coverage!
Covering Florida is a division of Florida Covering Kids and Families (FL-CKF), based at the University of South Florida College of Public Health in Tampa. FL-CKF is a federal grant recipient from the U.S. Health and Human Services Dept. /Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. FL-CKF also manages Florida Connecting Kids to Coverage, a group of regional partners that assist Florida parents in obtaining Florida KidCare coverage for their children. Visit www.FloridaConnectingKidsToCoverage.com for more information.
Open Enrollment 2023 Talking Points / Key Information
What is “Covering Florida”?
Covering Florida is the statewide network of Navigator partners led by Florida Covering Kids and Families, an organization based at the University of South
Florida (USF) College of Public Health. Covering Florida’s Certified Marketplace Navigators can help you find appropriate health insurance plan options. Navigator help is always free and unbiased, and we receive no fees or commissions from insurance companies that might influence our conversations with consumers. Our services are paid for by a grant from the Federal Department of Health and Human Services. Our website is www.CoveringFlorida.org.
Health insurance options can be complex, and the enrollment process can be confusing. That is why the Covering Florida Navigator program is essential in ensuring that everyone has the chance to get covered. With the continuing American Rescue Plan subsidies in 2023, Floridians should check to see how those Marketplace subsidies might deliver better coverage and lower premiums, resulting in bigger financial savings.
Since we started our program in 2013, Florida has consistently led the United States in enrollment numbers. Despite a record of almost 3 million enrollees during last year’s Open Enrollment, a significant number of Floridians remain uninsured. A recent survey from the Kaiser Family Foundation shows that many consumers lack confidence to apply on their own or have a limited understanding of ACA requirements and benefits. Covering Florida Navigators are here to help!
What is a “Certified Marketplace Navigator”?
The federal government operates the Health Insurance Marketplace®, which is a platform that helps people shop for and enroll in health insurance on Healthcare.gov. When you apply for individual and/or family coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace®, you may provide income and household size information to determine financial assistance for yourself and your family. Navigators can assist you in finding out if you qualify for tax credits and other savings that make insurance more affordable. Navigators will also help with health insurance plan comparisons and understanding how to use health insurance coverage. Covering Florida has trained and certified Navigators who help consumers in all 67 counties in Florida to review the basics of health insurance, assist with the online application and explain how federal subsidies for health insurance premiums work.
What is ACA Marketplace Open Enrollment?
The Open Enrollment Period that began on November 1st marks the tenth year of Covering Florida providing Affordable Care Act Marketplace Navigator services to Florida health care consumers. The Open Enrollment Period is the annual window for individuals and families to sign up for health insurance on the Health Insurance Marketplace. Open Enrollment started on November 1 and runs through January 15, 2023. Consumers should enroll by December 15th to secure coverage that will begin on January 1, 2023. Open Enrollment is the only opportunity to enroll in an ACA-compliant health plan without needing a qualifying life event.
What kind of health care coverage can I enroll in?
All Health Insurance Marketplace plans are comprehensive and cover doctor visits, hospital stays, prescriptions, preventive care and more. Pre-existing conditions are covered. The Health Insurance Marketplace has new plans and prices every year, and sometimes new providers may enter or depart your market each year, so Navigators help you check out your options that best fit your situation.
Is Financial Assistance available for the upcoming year?
Yes! During the last Open Enrollment Period, enrollment in the United States reached a new record high, with more than 14.5 million people signing up for coverage through the Marketplace. In Florida, 2,723,094 consumers signed up for 2022 coverage, also a new record. Much of the new enrollments were due to the subsidy increases that were part of the American Rescue Plan (ARP). Those new subsidies allowed a tremendous number of Americans to qualify for increased premium tax credits. This year, 4 out of 5 Marketplace customers will be able to find plans for $10 or less per month through the newly expanded financial assistance. Subsidies will be available to households with income above 400% of the poverty level, and our Navigators will help you with the application. The new Inflation Reduction Act that was passed and signed in August 2022 will continue the subsidies for three more years, through 2025.
What is the “Family Glitch”?
From 2014 through 2022, family members of employees who were offered dependent health insurance coverage from an employer were generally ineligible for financial assistance on the Health Insurance Marketplace to reduce the cost of the Marketplace premiums. Frequently, employers required significant employee contributions to cover spouses and/or dependents. Public health advocates worked hard to successfully push for a change in policy to close this “family glitch”. The IRS has finalized a new regulation that replaces the 2013 IRS regulation that created the family glitch, making many families newly eligible for marketplace premium subsidies in 2023
Do I need an appointment to meet with a Navigator?
Navigators can get very busy during Open Enrollment, so we recommend calling or making an appointment online. There are Covering Florida Navigator agencies across Florida who are waiting to give you a hand. In-person, telephone and virtual options are available.
Florida Covering Kids & Families and its consortium partners listed below have been providing Covering Florida Navigator services throughout the state of Florida since the first Open Enrollment period in 2013. The following partners comprise the 2022-2023 USF statewide consortium and are collectively known as Covering Florida.
USF Navigators Provide Toll-Free & Virtual Services in every Florida county.
Big Bend Area Health Education Centers (BBAHEC) www.bigbendahec.org
Serving Bay, Calhoun, Franklin, Gadsden, Gulf, Holmes, Jackson, Jefferson, Liberty, Leon, Madison, Taylor, Wakulla & Washington counties.
Epilepsy Florida (South Florida Navigation Program) www.epilepsyalliancefl.org
Serving Broward, Indian River, Martin, Miami-Dade, Monroe, Okeechobee, Palm Beach & St. Lucie
Family Healthcare Foundation www.familyhealthcarefdn.org
Serving Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco & Polk counties.
Health Planning Council of Northeast Florida www.hpcnef.org
Serving Baker, Clay, Duval, Flagler, Nassau, St. Johns & Volusia counties.
Health Planning Council of Southwest Florida www.hpcswf.org
Serving Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto, Glades, Hardee, Hendry, Highlands, Lee, Manatee & Sarasota
90 Works www.90works.org
Serving Escambia, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa & Walton counties.
Primary Care Access Network (PCAN) (Covering Central Florida) www.coveringCFL.net
Serving Lake, Orange, Osceola & Seminole counties.
Suwannee River Area Health Education Centers (SRAHEC) www.srahec.org
Serving Alachua, Bradford, Citrus, Columbia, Dixie, Gilchrist, Hamilton, Hernando, Lafayette, Levy, Marion, Putnam, Sumter, Suwannee & Union counties.
United Way of Brevard www.uwbrevard.org
Serving Brevard County.