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Despite Snubbing Obamacare, Florida Gets Thousands of Jobs and Cash from Health Act

| May 13, 2013

obamacare

Even though Florida officials tried to block the implementation of the Affordable Care Act at every turn over the past three years, the state will gain millions in grants and hundreds of new jobs this year from its implementation.

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On Thursday, the Obama administration announced it will offer $8 million in grants to 48 community health centers in the state to help them enroll uninsured Floridians in insurance plans under the Act, also known as “Obamacare,” beginning Oct 1. Other non-profits can apply for similar grants through a program for ACA navigators.

And according to Kaiser Health News, Florida is one of six states that will share 9,000 new call-center jobs to aid in the enrollment. It is not clear how many of the jobs will come to Florida.

The jobs will be added to a Tampa call center operated under a federal contract byVangent, a General Dynamics Information Technology subsidiary.

Operators at the call centers, which already handle questions about Medicare, are to be trained to help enroll uninsured individuals and families  in a choice of plans to be made available Oct. 1 on an online “marketplace.” Details about the plan choices are not yet available.

The call centers, which will operate around the clock when the enrollment period begins, are designed to handle the 34 states — including Florida — that are relying on the federal government to provide an “exchange” or “marketplace.”  Sixteen states decided to develop their own online enrollment.

The operators will also help enrollees obtain up-front tax credits — essentially the same as price discounts — for those who qualify under the health law. A majority of Florida’s uninsured residents are projected to be in the income range that will qualify for subsidies.

$8 Million for Health Centers

The grants announced Thursday that are available to 48 community health centers in Florida are part of $150 million nationwide for in-person enrollment assistance for the uninsured, Kaiser Health News reports.

The Flagler County Health Department has been working toward establishing just such a community health center in Bunnell.

The list of community health centers in Florida that are eligible to apply for the grants is posted on the Health Resources and Services Administration web site. Applications are due the end of this month.

A federally built online shopping site for the uninsured to enroll in a health plan is supposed to be ready by Oct. 1 for states that have decided not to build their own, including Florida. The coverage would begin Jan. 1.  The rapid ramp-up has raised questions on whether the marketplace will be ready by Oct. 1, but USA Todayreported Friday that unnamed officials are sending signals of reassurance.

To be sure, many of the uninsured will be able to handle the enrollment process on their own, after years of booking travel online or ordering books from Amazon.

But others may need face-to-face assistance. Because community health centers are accustomed to dealing with uninsured patients, they would be a good place for that help to be provided, officials said.

Who Can Get Help?

Those who receive health coverage through their employers will not be eligible for help through the marketplace unless their incomes are so low they can’t afford the premiums. (And in such cases, the employer may be subject to a penalty).


The subsidies for low- and modest-income applicants come in the form of up-front tax credits, on a sliding scale.  They are available to uninsured individuals and families with incomes between 100 percent and 400 percent of the federal poverty level.

For an individual, 100 percent of the poverty level would  be about $11,500 and for a family of four, it would be about $23,500, according to a chart published by Families USA. Those applicants would receive the largest subsidies.

An income of 400 percent of the poverty level would be just under $46,000 for one person and more than $94,000 for a family of four, the chart shows. At that income range, the insurance discounts would be the smallest.

No subsidies are available for uninsured persons with incomes below the poverty level because the ACA anticipated they would become enrolled in an expansion of Medicaid. However, the Supreme Court ruled — in a case against the law in which Florida acted as a lead plaintiff — that states could not be forced to participate in the expansion.

Even though Gov. Rick Scott and the Florida Senate supported a plan that could have covered more than 1.1 million uninsured in the state using an estimated $51 billion in federal funds, the Florida House opted out in the session that ended last week.

People who are already insured through their employers, the military, or some other method can keep that coverage as long as it meets the minimum requirements under the ACA.

–Carol Gentry, Heaolth News Florida

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10 Responses for “Despite Snubbing Obamacare, Florida Gets Thousands of Jobs and Cash from Health Act”

  1. Sherry Epley says:

    “No subsidies are available for uninsured persons with incomes below the poverty level because the ACA anticipated they would become enrolled in an expansion of Medicaid. However, the Supreme Court ruled — in a case against the law in which Florida acted as a lead plaintiff — that states could not be forced to participate in the expansion.

    Even though Gov. Rick Scott and the Florida Senate supported a plan that could have covered more than 1.1 million uninsured in the state using an estimated $51 billion in federal funds, the Florida House opted out in the session that ended last week.”

    And just how are the most indigent of our citizens suppose to stop going to the expensive “emergency room” for their medical needs? This ridiculous stubborn political stance will not reduce the national debt. . . other states will benefit, and Florida is made to look like a JOKE again. Insanity in our state legislature needs to end! They need to be voted out!

    • MaryAnn Norvik says:

      We are paying for indigent care in the ER at exhortiant prices, please give our uninsured health care at a much lower price like the doctor’s office. Better use of our money. Do not why those who have everything have to be so selfish? I pay taxes and live okay, I want to help others who do not have, baffles me why people are against this.

  2. fla native says:

    It’s not the government’s responsibility or obligation to tax me so hard when I worked my ass off for forty years and saved for my retirement and give free health care to some slug that sleeps until noon every day and stays up all night playing video games and drinking beer.

    • MaryAnn Norvik says:

      No ever one sleeps till noon, try busting your ass at a minimum wage job trying to pay rent, transportation and food for your family, no money left for health insurance, let me know how that works out?

  3. Karma says:

    The owner of this van needs to audited immediately. Teaparty = IRS cheat, gun owner and I would bet there is a bible in the backseat!

  4. confidential says:

    Please county commissioners do all necessary to get on Board with the above federal funding our Dr.Kanarakis Free Clinic in Bunnell. Pleaaase?Thank you.

  5. Lt Dan says:

    Billions is funds !!! and where do those billions come from ? Oh yea, the AMERICAN TAXPAYER. Your not doing anyone a favor by SINKING us more into DEBT by this boondoggle. Its the progressive, right wing, commie, agenda to BANKRUPT America so socialism can CONTROL the population. THANK YOU Gov Scott for NOT going along with the COMMIES !!!!!!

    • Geezer says:

      Sounds to me as if you’re being controlled already.

      I believe that you’ve been Hannitized. Symptoms consist of endlessly quoting
      the same Fox propaganda ad-verbatim during the day, and in your sleep.
      One unfortunate aspect of this horrible affliction is the ceaseless use of the word “socialism.”
      RUN to a professional today. Get help for goodness sake.

      Deprogramming is difficult, but not impossible.
      I pray for your swift deHannitization. Get well soon.

      Things could be worse, you could have contracted Limbaughsis instead.
      Treatment for that is 21 injections of common sense in the belly.
      Limbaughsis victims first exhibit signs of foaming at the mouth, and wide-eyed irrational speech.
      If you encounter someone with these symptoms, call the health department.
      These people are considered dangerous. Use caution, most are armed to the teeth!
      Watch for fanny packs.

      ¡Pobrecito!

  6. there are three sides to every story says:

    The money from the fed will only last for the first couple of years….then it’s all on the state to fund !00%

  7. A.S.F. says:

    I just love it when today’s tea party retirees snarl, grumble and moan about all the “freeloaders” they think will be receiving healthcare at their expense when medicare, which pays for most of the healthcare needs of those same retirees, is bankrupting our country faster than just about anything else. Most retirees will spend much more in the benefits they will receive than they ever put in. Perhaps we should be calculating exactly how much those same “grumblers” put in, add interest on on top of it and, when you pass that number, we’ll cut YOU off. Why not? After all, at that point, you’ll be sponging off someone else’s hard earned dough. Just remember–Karma is a you-know-what and what goes around, comes around. Your myopic self-interest and lack of compassion may boomerang on you someday.

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