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Tampa Bay Times

Florida enrollment in Affordable Care Act surpasses 3 million

By Christopher O'Donnell,

Florida leads the nation in number of residents who enrolled in the Affordable Care Act coverage for 2023. Seen here is U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor, D-Tampa. [ Office of Kathy Castor ]

Florida once again leads the nation in enrollment for health insurance through the Affordable Care Act.

A record 3.2 million Floridians signed up for health insurance plans for 2023 offered through the federal marketplaces, data from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services released Wednesday shows. That’s roughly 500,000 more than last year and almost a million more than the next highest state, Texas.

Nationwide, the federal program, which was signed into law by President Barack Obama in 2010, is more popular than ever, with a record 16.3 million Americans enrolling. That includes 3.6 million new members.

The federal government’s decision to make premium subsidies available to more people during the pandemic has been credited with driving up enrollment.

The subsidies were established in the American Rescue Plan and were extended to the end of 2023. For lower income families, it can mean insurance is free or their premiums as low as $10 per month.

Commonly known as Obamacare, the federal marketplace insurance plans were first offered in 2014 when enrollment was just over 8 million and grew to 12 million by 2016.

But the program dwindled under President Donald Trump when it was only saved from being repealed by the defection of three Republican senators in a dramatic 2017 vote. Trump’s administration also shortened the signup window for consumers to six weeks, slashed the program’s marketing budget by $90 million and cut $25 million from the funding for so-called navigators, who help people pick and enroll in insurance plans.

Enrollment for this year’s insurance plans was held between Nov. 1 and Jan. 15.

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