Newly released U.S. Census data show that 2.7 million Floridians are uninsured, which is essentially where the state was a year ago. Progress made after the Affordable Care Act (ACA) took effect in 2014 has been stalled.
Particularly disheartening is that the state's uninsured rate — 12.9 percent — remains significantly above the national average of 8.9 percent. Between 2013 and 2016, the number of uninsured Floridians had dropped steadily from 20 percent to 12.5 percent.
Florida’s persistently high uninsured rate means that thousands of families in the state have been shut out from enjoying the benefits of a stronger economy. This includes nearly 500,000 Floridians in the coverage gap, people whose incomes are too high to qualify for Medicaid but too low to qualify for marketplace tax subsidies. Florida policy leaders have yet to expand Medicaid, which would help those in the coverage gap.
The state’s uninsured rate is likely to climb even higher with continued federal legislative and administrative efforts to weaken the ACA. This includes slashing millions of dollars previously used to enroll people in Medicaid and private insurance through the federal marketplace.