September 10, 2019

Florida’s Uninsured Rate Remains Stagnant

This post was last updated on December 8, 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.

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.

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