While 11 new states have come out and stated they would be re-opening their Affordable Care Act enrollment due to the current state of the country with the Coronavirus spreading, Florida is needing help with an insurance extension. Although CMS is currently evaluating its offerings for a Special Enrollment Period (SEP) for COVID-19, there is no guarantee anything will be passed soon. “We will continue to work closely with states and health plans around the country to assess what additional actions are necessary to ensure the American people have coverage for and access to the services they need during this time,” stated the agency. Federally Facilitated Marketplace States, as stated above, have already taken action to help those who are uninsured have a chance to acquire health insurance starting April 1st, but will states such as Florida receive the same benefits?
Florida Is Needing Help
Florida is needing help with an insurance extension for the millions of Floridians who are not insured. “We already have over 2.5 million Floridians that are uninsured and of course the number is just going to keep growing as people are losing their jobs and employer-sponsored coverage,” stated Anne Swerlick, senior policy analyst with the Florida Policy Institute. Last December over 1.9 million Floridians signed up for health coverage through the federal marketplace, the most in the marketplace since 2014. The only way to currently sign up for insurance in the state is due to an SEP or enrolling in Medicaid. The current SEP that might be available for the uninsured is job loss. As far as Medicaid, although allowed to sign up at any time, the state’s current eligibility requirements for Medicaid are strict both in terms of income limits and categories of people who qualify. The current standard for Medicaid eligibility is based on the Florida Department of Children and Families or the Social Security Administration.
Why Insurance is Important
Being one of the 14 states who have not yet expanded Medicaid, Florida is in need of help. With over 69,000 cases of the coronavirus currently, with almost 2,000 in Florida alone, it is important that people have access to health. Those without insurance are afraid of the cost of testing in order to confirm if they have COVID-19. With social distancing and other temporary measures going into effect, it is important to be able to contain the spread of COVID-19 as much as possible.
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