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September 13, 2017

Florida's Uninsured Rate Drops Again In 2016 [Health News Florida]

This post was last updated on September 10, 2021. As new policies are announced, FPI will update this page.

As Florida’s response to COVID-19 takes front and center, concern grows for low-income families who struggle to take precautions against the spread of the virus. Although Congress has passed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act to address, at least in part,  the public health crisis and economic fallout from COVID-19, many barriers continue to keep struggling families from accessing the assistance they need during the pandemic. As Florida initiates policies implementing the Act and addressing other barriers to the safety net, FPI will update this form. When available, hyperlinks are provided to agency documents or statements that provide greater detail  about the new policy.
On March 22, 2020, FPI and 44 other organizations sent a letter to Governor DeSantis, leadership in the Legislature and agency heads to urge action on 47 specific policy changes to reduce unnecessary barriers for Florida’s safety net programs in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. See the letter here.

The following article was authored by Health News Florida staff:

“The number of Floridians without health insurance dropped again in 2016, according to figures from the U.S. Census.

In 2016, 12.5 percent of the state’s residents did not have health insurance, compared to 13.3 in 2015. The number of uninsured has dropped steadily in Florida from 20 percent in 2013, a year before the Affordable Care Act took effect.

‘We have the Affordable Care Act to thank, in large part, for the important gains in Florida’s rate of insured residents,’ Joseph F. Pennisi, director of the Florida Policy Institute said in a release. ‘This is all the more reason to continue improving on current law.’

The drop in uninsured would be even greater had Florida expanded Medicaid, which is still an option under the health law, Pennisi said. Florida could cover more than 500,000 more residents with Medicaid expansion.

The number of children with insurance in Florida also increased in 2016 from 92.6 in 2015 percent to 93.4 percent. Still, 288,000 children in the state do not have insurance, according to the Florida Policy Institute, a nonprofit organization that analyses policy issues that affect economic opportunity.

Congress will consider whether to renew the Children’s Health Insurance program, or CHIP, by the end of the month.

‘All of Florida is focused now on rebuilding in the devastating wake of Hurricane Irma,’ Pennisi said. ‘Having health insurance coverage, especially in a state where a natural disaster can turn your world upside down, is absolutely essential.’

Read more on wlrn.org

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