December 8, 2023
Impact of the Affordable Care Act on uninsured Floridians
Obamacare subsidies have taken thousands off the uninsured rolls.

2019 Health Care Trends

Impact of the Affordable Care Act on uninsured Floridians

Six years ago, nearly 4 million people in Florida — 26% of the state’s population — had no health insurance. When Obamacare created subsidies to help people buy insurance, hundreds of thousands of low-and-middle-income Floridians got coverage through a new federal exchange, and the uninsured rate dropped to 16% by 2017. Data show gains were made in every county across Florida and across different age and income groups.

  • The percentage of uninsured young people ages 0-18 fell from 14% in 2010 to 7% in 2017.
  • The percentage of those ages 19-64 who are uninsured fell from 30% to 19%.
  • Between 2013-16, the percentage of men in Florida who are uninsured fell from 26% to 17%. The uninsured rate for women declined from 23% to 14%.
  • Despite large coverage gains under Obamacare, poor and near-poor working-age men remain most at risk of being uninsured.
  • In 2016, nearly half (46%) of Hispanic men between 21 and 64 who earned 138% or less of poverty lacked health insurance.

Among Floridians who have health insurance:

  • 45% — Buy health insurance through their employers
  • 22% — Are insured by Medicare
  • 19% — Are insured by Medicaid
  • 3% — Are covered through the Veterans Administration
  • 11% — Buy policies directly from insurers

Source: U.S. Census

Insurance through the ACA Exchange in Florida

The Basics

Health plans sold privately on the ACA exchange are divided into four categories based on the percentage of medical bills that a plan pays vs. what a patient pays out of pocket. Bronze and silver plans account for nine in 10 plans purchased on the exchange. Silver plans cover 70% of costs paid by insurance and feature a lower premium with a high deductible. Bronze plans, which cover 60% of costs, have the lowest premium, with a very high deductible.

1.8 million — Number of people enrolled in Florida exchange plans in 2019

7 — Number of insurers offering plans in the Florida exchange in 2019, up from six in 2018. This year, New York-based Oscar Insurance expanded to Florida, selling Obamacare plans in Lake, Orange, Osceola and Seminole counties. One strategy it uses to hold down costs is to create narrow provider networks. In Central Florida, Oscar has joined with AdventHealth and HCA to provide in-network coverage to its members. Meanwhile, large insurers, including Aetna, Cigna, Humana and UnitedHealthcare, have pulled out of the exchange after struggling to make money.

5.2% — Average approved rate increase for 2019 plans vs. 2018

91% — Percentage of Florida enrollees who received subsidies in purchasing coverage in 2018


Affordable Care Act: Milestones

March 2010
President Barack Obama signs the Affordable Care Act (ACA) into law, allowing adults up to 26 years old to stay on their parents’ health insurance plans. The ACA also requires coverage for people with pre-existing conditions.

January 2014
Obamacare’s key coverage provisions take effect; nearly a million Floridians buy coverage through a new federally run health-insurance exchange.

December 2017
Congress does away with the ACA’s individual mandate penalty — effective in 2019 — meaning people no longer face a penalty for not having health insurance.


Read more in our April issue.

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