Stew Lilker’s

Columbia County Observer

Real news for working families.  An online newspaper

Florida News

Obamacare Signups Soar, But Knowledge Gap Still Exists

TALLAHASSEE, FL - With a little more than two months to go in the open-enrollment period for the Affordable Care Act, community organizers say the biggest obstacle for consumers is not the Healthcare.gov website, but a lack of awareness about financial assistance.

According to Erin Knott of Enroll America, many Floridians her group has worked with are well aware that "Care" is available under the ACA, but the "Affordable" part takes some convincing.

Enroll America
Get Covered America

"We have our work cut out for us to make sure that we are continuing to outreach and talk to consumers about financial assistance that will be available; that we're directing them to in-person assisters across the state; that we make them aware of financial calculators that exist," she declared.

In a recent Enroll America survey, eight of ten uninsured respondents did not believe they could afford health insurance. It's estimated that 60 percent of those currently uninsured will qualify for financial assistance under the Affordable Care Act. As of the end of December, more than 158,000 Floridians had signed up for insurance through the federal marketplace.

Knott said she hopes consumers will tune out the rhetoric that has surrounded health-care reform and focus on making informed decisions, particularly for the more than 1.5 million uninsured Florida residents who may be sorting through this complex information for the first time.

"Insurance is complicated," she admitted. "I mean, the difference between a deductible and a premium and an out-of-pocket expense. We're making sure that people have facts and that they know where to go for more hands-on kind of help."

Open enrollment for plans offered under the Affordable Care Act runs through March 31.

Photos/graphics and links added by the Observer

Comments  (to add a comment go here)


Make a comment • click here •
All comments are displayed at the end of the article and are moderated.