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School & Program Updates

School & Program Updates

South Florida: Enrollment in ACA Goes Way Up in Florida While Funding Goes Way Down

The numbers are in and 1.9 million Floridians selected or were re-enrolled in health care plans in 2020 during the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA’s) open enrollment period held from Nov. 1 to Dec. 21.

That’s about a 200,000 increase from last year, despite an 85 percent cut in grant funding, said Dr. Jodi Ray, a University of South Florida College of Public Health (COPH) instructor II and program director of “Florida Covering Kids and Families” (FL-CKF). FL-CKF manages the USF State Navigator Program and nearly a dozen other organizations (collectively referred to as the “Covering Florida” consortium) that provide Navigator services across Florida.

“I’m shocked, but happy,” commented Dr. Ray. “Previously we had a marketing budget and all this support to get information about health care coverage out there. But that’s now been cut. And they also cut enrollment assistance. Some states have completely done away with their Navigator Programs — they couldn’t support one on the money they were given. And despite the fact that the number of insured has gone down during this administration, Florida’s enrollment has actually gone up — every single year.”

How was ACA enrollment able to increase when the funding that promoted and facilitated it was cut to the bone?

Key, said Dr. Ray, was extending Covering Florida’s reach by teaming with community and government partners.

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