August 30, 2022

Health is wealth, but one economist says for some in Florida it’s also debt

Talia Blake writes:

"The Health Insurance Marketplace is operated by the federal government under the Affordable Care Act and is available to Florida residents through

Depending on your parameters, [FPI CEO] Sadaf Knight [emphasis added] said it can get expensive. "So just as an example, I put in 'family of four, two kids under the age of four in Orange County,'" she explained. "And you look at what kind of plans come up for you, they can range between about $1,000 a month for the lowest premium to over $2,000 a month for for the highest premium."

The cost of health insurance is not only felt in your pockets, but in the community as a whole. According to a recent analysis by the Kaiser Family Foundation, Knight said 1 in 10 adults owe medical debt in Florida.

'There's sort of a cost for all of us when people are uninsured. It's a hidden tax of about $2,000 of increased insurance premiums because of all the uncompensated care that's happening in hospitals,' she said. 'So, we all kind of end up picking up the tab and feeling those impacts both from a health perspective and from an economic perspective.'


Florida is one of 12 states that has not expanded Medicaid, which provides medical care for low-income individuals and families. The state and federal government share the cost of the program.

In Florida, Knight said Medicaid covers 5 million people, but requirements for eligibility are the most restrictive in the country leaving 400,000 people in a coverage gap. 'In Florida, if you're a family of three, and you have an annual income of about $6,900, those parents are ineligible for Medicaid. So that's very, very low,' she explained. "'There's a whole lot of people who are in the coverage gap. Those are people whose incomes are above that threshold, but not high enough to get subsidies through the healthcare marketplace.'"

Read more/listen to full segment at

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