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More Than 1.3M Floridians May Lose Their Obamacare Subsidies, More Than Any Other State

| June 8, 2015

health subsidies floridians

It could become restricted again. (Christiana Care)

More than 1.3 million Florida residents — the most of any state — could lose their financial aid for health plans under the Affordable Care Act if the Supreme Court rules against the federal distribution of subsidies later this month.


New data released last week by federal health officials in advance of the decision showed that Florida, which enrolled the most people in Obamacare, also stands to lose the most.

Those Floridians received an average subsidy of $294 a month in March to reduce their premiums, according to the new data. Among those Floridians, nearly 1 million also received financial aid from the government to reduce their out-of-pocket costs, such as co-payments, co-insurance and deductibles.

That means Floridians received at least $389 million in March from the federal government to help pay for their health insurance.

The subsidies are at the center of a Supreme Court case challenging the health law. In King v. Burwell, the plaintiffs argue that the language of the health law restricts the subsidies to states that established their own exchanges.

Leah Barber-Heinz, chief executive of Florida CHAIN, a nonprofit consumer health advocate in favor of the health law, said the Sunshine State risks more than financial assistance for low- and moderate-income residents to buy health insurance.

“Lives are at stake when the courts rule on cases like King v. Burwell,’’ she said in a written statement. “When a million people lose their health insurance, some of them will face dire consequences.”

A total of 34 states, including Florida, rely entirely on the federal insurance exchange and risk losing subsidies if the Supreme Court rules against the health law. Through March, those states enrolled a total of about 7.3 million Americans, of which 6.4 million receive an average government subsidy of $272 a month to lower their premiums.

The data released by the Department of Health and Human Services reported that an estimated 10.2 million Americans, including about 2.9 million who enrolled through state-based exchanges, had paid for their Obamacare health plans as of March 31.

That’s a reduction from the total 11.7 million sign-ups reported earlier this year. Still, HHS Secretary Sylvia Burwell said in a written statement that the insurance exchanges are “working.’’

“We’ve seen a historic reduction in the uninsured and consumers are finding the coverage they need at a price they can afford,’’ Burwell said.

Critics of the health law, however, insist Obamacare is not working.

Andres Malave, a spokesman for the Florida chapter of Americans for Prosperity, a conservative group that opposes the ACA, accused the Obama administration of creating uncertainty and angst among Floridians.

“It’s legitimate anxiety that the Affordable Care Act has caused,” Malave said. “And it’s forcing Floridians to unfortunately have to live in a world where they are unsure of how their coverage is going to be affected because the president’s administration decided that a big government solution was better for Floridians instead of allowing the free market to operate.”

Of the 10.2 million Americans with effective coverage in March, 85 percent or about 8.7 million were receiving subsidies.

In Florida, about 1.4 million residents were enrolled in and paying for health plans through March 31, according to the data, and more than 93 percent — or about 1.3 million people — were receiving a government subsidy to help pay for the insurance. Florida had the second-highest rate of consumers, after Mississippi, who received financial aid to pay for their premiums in March.

According to federal data, Florida residents who received a government subsidy to make their health plan more affordable paid an average premium of $82 in February — well below the national average of $101 a month.

If the Supreme Court ends subsidies, Floridians receiving financial aid would face an average premium increase of 359 percent, according to a new analysis by the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonprofit health policy research group. (KHN is an editorially independent program of the foundation.)

–Daniel Chang, Miami Herald

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39 Responses for “More Than 1.3M Floridians May Lose Their Obamacare Subsidies, More Than Any Other State”

  1. Yellowstone says:

    How proud we all must feel now . . . Afterall, healthcare is only for those who can afford it!

    “Qu’ils mangent de la brioche”

    It’s great to say we are on the bottom once again.

    REMEMBER TO VOTE NEXT TIME!!

    • PCer says:

      Remember to vote Democrat.

      • GM2 says:

        PCer – I fully concur. The Republican party is the rich man’s party and the Democrats are for the working man – It has always been that way. Fortunately, the Republican party is starting to unravel.

        • Ray Thorne says:

          for the working man? Taking from the working man is more like it. “Ask not what your country can do for you but what you can d for your country” those words are long forgotten it seems. Instead of creating ways to put people on their feet and being productive members of society, the working man foots the bill continuing to support an out if control system where many able bodied people do not have to work.

          • Obama 2015 says:

            Ray,

            No one said you have to work. If you’re so mad at people that don’t work, Stop working. No one is forcing you to work so hard.

          • GM2 says:

            Ray –

            The Republicans are against social security which they call an “entitlement” . You’re damn right I am entitled to it since I paid for it through the years (along with my employer). I have to believe all men who worked and paid into this plan feel the same way.

    • Nalla C says:

      Remember to vote for Bernie Sanders in the Dem primary. Hillary Clinton won’t do the right thing and neither will anyone on the GOP side.

      The Right Thing = scrap the ACA. It’s useless since the Supreme Court allowed states to opt out. The whole idea was that if everyone was paying in, it would be affordable. Half the states opted out. It should have been scrapped right there.

      The thing is, if we’re going to do that, it must be replaced with SOMETHING that covers all the people already enrolled and let’s get the rest of the country in on it. Replace that boondoggle with an expanded Medicare that covers EVERYONE. The infrastructure is already in place and the program WORKS. The GAO says it’s doable, financially. We could have already done it with the money wasted on implementing the ACA.

      God, Barack Obama is such a tool. 2017 can’t come fast enough.

  2. The Truth says:

    Health insurance in general in this country is a disgrace. Regardless of what ‘side of the aisle’ you stand on, I think we can agree that health insurance is a mess. The only people who are happy with the current system are those who have health insurance through a state funded entity like law enforcement from several years ago.

    Costs have gone through the roof in the last 10 years and many of us are left out in the cold. I don’t blame this on ACA (or as some like to call it Obamacare) but rather on the fact that our health insurance and health industry is privatized for the sake of making a profit. It’s a disgrace.

  3. Nancy N says:

    Our premium will go up by nearly 14x it’s current amount if we lose our subsidy through the exchange. This is not a small concern for our family. We MUST have insurance as both of us are quite possibly facing surgery in the near future for serious issues and I have a potentially life-threatening health condition, but we have no idea how we will pay the bill if we lose the subsidy. I can’t afford to make a second mortgage payment, which is basically what the bill would be. Before the ACA law, we had no insurance for several years.

    • The Truth says:

      I wish you the best and hope that this will work out in your favor. My parents are in a similar predicament as their health insurance will rise from $540/mo to $1700/mo.

  4. m&m says:

    You voted democrat 8 years ago and look where it got you. Obama care has destroyed the system. Do you remember that quote from the speeker Polosi ” we’ll read it AFTER it’s approved”. In other words they sold us down the river..

    • Edman says:

      m&m, your post would mean something if it included even one shred of evidence to support your claim of how the ACA has “destroyed the system”. Every independent review of the law has shown that it is working and that people who are most in need are able to get insurance with the subsidies. That “system” makes so much more sense than having uninsured expenses paid by those who have insurance by increasing premium costs for all of us. Stop merely repeating the anti-Obama sound bites from conservative media sources.

      • Outsider says:

        What a ridiculous statement being the the rest of us are still paying via premium subsidies and, apparently some are even getting assistance with copays and deductibles. Don’t try to blow smoke up my ass; this is just another massive welfare program loosely disguised as something else.

        • a tiny manatee says:

          So what you’re saying is that you’ve elected to not pull from social security or medicare and instead have invested your faith in the free market to carry you through.

    • Nancy N. says:

      “destroyed the system”, huh? Well, under that fabulous system that you claim was destroyed, I was uninsured for several years because I am self-employed and have a pre-existing condition. I literally could not buy insurance at ANY price, because no one would sell it to me.

      Under the new system, insurance companies are now forced to sell me insurance. I will no longer have to worry that my daughter, who also already has a potentially life-threatening pre-existing condition at the age of 12, will be cut off from insurance for committing the sin of actually needing it.

      What has “destroyed the system” as you claim is the Republicans chipping away out of malice piece by piece at the system that was put in place by the Democrats. Heaven forbid someone besides them – especially a BLACK president – should enact a successful healthcare plan for the American people. The wall, as built, was fairly strong. But the GOP have set about taking brick after brick out of it. If the system has been destroyed, it is because the GOP has vandalized it.

  5. Tired of it says:

    Why do people get a subsidy for basically doing nothing. I have worked my butt off for years and I am paying close to $1000 per month for my HC. It has gone up almost $200 a month since Obama Care took hold. I as a taxpaying citizen should not be forced to pay extra for those that have sat on their butts for generations and made no attempt to be gainfully employed. Obama and his healthcare program is a failure that is going to ruin our country along with some of the other insane programs the DEMS have implemented.

    • Obama 2015 says:

      Also have you looked at the exchanges for health insurance ? Why are you paying so much? Why are you blaming a president for the costs your require, he doesn’t own them.

      That increase would have been more than $200 a month if Obama did nothing you know that right?

      The costs of healthcare are the slowest since Reagan was president. Also you pay extra because some rich 20 something has a trust fund and calls his four houses and two Yachts business expenses and pays less in taxes then you and I.

      To be honest I will pay a few extra a year in taxes so a single mother with 5 kids can eat than some trust fund baby.

      Oh Yea, last time I looked Obama American created more jobs, killed more terrorists, ended more wars and helped more Americans find affordable health insurance than any republican I can remember. And that is why no help from Congress or the Senate in 4 years.

    • Nalla C says:

      Because they’re AMERICANS, that’s why. Is that not good enough for you?

      • Outsider says:

        Sorry, not good enough, and I’m sure it will not be true for long. Besides, Jeffrey Dahmer was an American, too.

        • Nalla C. says:

          Wow. So only Americans YOU approve of! Got it.

          And you know what? When we convict people for murder, we still bandage their scrapes and treat their germs and operate on them. They’re still human beings, still prone to injury and disease. Lord have mercy, what is your problem? Try–try really hard–to find your human compassion again, because from where I sit, you have exactly NONE. And that’s just shameful.

  6. Fred says:

    There are 8 levels of control that must be obtained before you are able to create a social state. The first is the most important.

    1) Healthcare – Control healthcare and you control the people

    2) Poverty – Increase the Poverty level as high as possible, poor people are easier to control and will not fight back if you are providing everything for them to live.

    3) Debt – Increase the debt to an unsustainable level. That way you are able to increase taxes, and this will produce more poverty.

    4) Gun Control – Remove the ability to defend themselves from the Government. That way you are able to create a police state.

    5) Welfare – Take control of every aspect of their lives (Food, Housing, and Income)

    6) Education – Take control of what people read and listen to – take control of what children learn in school.

    7) Religion – Remove the belief in God from the Government and schools.

    8) Class Warfare – Divide the people into the wealthy and the poor. This will cause more discontent and it will be easier to take (Tax) the wealthy with the support of the poor.

    Any of this sound familiar?

    • a tiny manatee says:

      Sounds about right. Up into recently, the republicans have been behind most efforts to deny healthcare to those that can’t afford it, thereby controlling who and who can’t get it. Levying taxes that only affect the poor and middle class increases the poverty level to a ridiculous degree and saves the rich, which has been a republican agenda for a long time. Republicans also insist on cutting taxes on industries and the rich but keep spending billions, which jacks the US debt up to astronomical levels. They’ve also been behind programs that give military surplus to police departments, creating a police state. By trying to eliminate welfare programs, they are controlling the lives of those that need it. They’ve also been behind historical revisionism, creationism, and pseudoscience as “reasonable” educational standards, and they’ve been the single most motivating force when it comes to making the gap between the poor and the rich grow wider. I guess the only thing you can’t really contribute to them is the removal of god from public schools, but they sure like to legislate their version of jesus to the masses whenever they can.

      Sounds about right for something the national socialist party might want. I think you’re on to something here.

    • Obama 2015 says:

      What’s your point? What email did you copy and paste this from? 1,2,3,5,6,8 all got worse from 2000 to 2008 are you calling Bush a Socialist?

      Obama hasn’t passed or signed one Anti gun law or measure. He only asked for more background checks and bans on certain types of firearms and ammo. Just like Bush, Clinton and Reagan did.

      239 years ago some people started America so they have freedom of Religion. Here is a news flash, some people that live in the USA have the right to not believe in God. In fact some have been wounded or killed so you can buy a dollar tree flag themed items for your yard on July 4th from a communist country that kills infant girls when they are born .

  7. D W Ferg says:

    The 359 % increase has already been implemented in our Florida Blue Plan as of the expiration of our current plan in the summer. Their “explanation” was (is) , “due to changes in the ACA”, our premium will skyrocket to $ 1975/ month, from $ 600 today. We have had the same plan for over 10 years. ” If you like your plan, you can keep your plan” . Gotta love the President in all of his infinite wisdom !

    • Obama 2015 says:

      If you like your plan, you can keep your plan is true. If you had a policy before the law took effect you can keep it. But over the course of the last 5 years they or you must have changed the policy some how. That would be considered a “new “policy and they then sold you that policy that doesn’t meet the new law’s Standards. They did this because they hoped the law would fail int the courts. Once it didn’t they blamed the ACA so they can charge you more because they have to provide you better care.

      The question you should ask is why did they sell me a policy that didn’t meet the law?

      When you break the law can you just keep doing it without being brought up on charges?

  8. Anonymous says:

    Yes, only seniors and the disabled should be entitled to bankrupt the system by getting a break. Becuase, you see, they deserve to live. while others may have to suffer and die.

  9. Sandra Reynolds says:

    Whether “they” sold us down the river or not, if these subsidies stop many will choose not to have coverage, not to pay the fine, and hope for the best. And that is a scary thought for many of us.

  10. Flatsflyer says:

    I have several Tea Bagger neighbors who are now shaking in their sandals because they fear loosing Obama Care coverage, it’s kind if fitting yet very sad that for several years they wailed against it, finally signed on and are now cursing the “Kochsuckers” for the potential lose of coverage. I personally can’t wait to she what our Republican controlled House and Senate do if the SC strikes ACA down, HINT they will do nothing. They have failed to make any changes for the last four years, all they did was voted 52 times to repeal it. I certainly hope this is a wake up call for all Fox Viewers.

  11. Outsider says:

    The Democrats on their own wrote this law and shoved it down our throats. At issue is four words in the bill that basically state outright that only states that set up their own healthcare exchanges are eligible for federal subsidies. It is very unambiguous that states who rely on the federal exchange are not eligible for federal subsidies for their citizens. This was either a glaring oversight which would be prima facia evidence of utter incompetence on the part of those writing the bill, or just as likely an attempt to blackmail states into setting up their own exchanges by threatening to withhold federal money for not establishing a state marketplace. Either one is typical of the democrats running this country; they are blackmailers and incompetents. And the effect of declaring it unconstitutional should have no bearing on whether it be determined legal or not. That is not the purpose of the Supreme Court. You just may get exactly what you asked for by electing Democrats; the product of incompetent blackmailers. I hope it blows up in your faces.

    • Nalla C says:

      The Democrats did not write this law, the health insurance and the pharmaceutical industries did, with the help of ALEC.

      Barack Obama owed both industries so he kissed their a*ses and cut deals with them. The final legislation he signed was payback for all the money those industries funneled to his presidential campaign.

      • Outsider says:

        Well then please explain why we should heed the advice of some of the above and “vote Democrat” when this is what we (without me) got for voting Democrat.

        • Nalla C. says:

          Because Bernie Sanders is only running as a Democrat so he’s not shut out of the process altogether. His idea is to expand Medicare and it is a damned good one. GAO says it’s doable, the infrastructure is already in place.

          Let me tell you something, outsider–Hillary Clinton is not….IS NOT….going to fix this. And the GOP is not….IS NOT…going to fix this.

          Our health care system is not sustainable as is.

  12. Sherry E says:

    This outrageous “political” battle, with the conservatives doing everything they can to destroy the ACA, is working completely against the average American citizen! They actually want to force people to go back to the “bad ole days” where millions were left uninsured/bankrupt by outrageously high medical expenses! These legislators apparently have no problem throwing millions of citizens “under the bus” merely to reinforce their incredibly heartless, selfish political beliefs.

    A vote for a Democrat is a vote for ALL citizens. . . not just the “white” 1% ers. “Trickle down” economy does NOT work folks! We should stand together with courage and not be pulled into the “makers and takers” BS of hating our neighbors. We are much better than this!

  13. m&m says:

    Fred says it right. If you didn’t read his post you must.

  14. groot says:

    Well, since we’re now paying $388 a month for my wife’s BC/BS policy, let others pay their fair share as well. No one says anyone is losing anything in the way of coverage. They just have to pay like all of us. Those ACA compliant premiums have caused financial hardship for us. She has health problems so, we can’t drop to basic. The cost of a similar policy before the ACA, $121 a month. We cannot afford this anymore. We never could. I’m a lifelong Democrat. I’ve been getting those questionnaires from the DNC. I’ve let them know that this part of the ACA has to go, or I vote Republican. I voted for Obama twice but I voted for a Democrat, not a Socialist.

    • Nalla C says:

      You should have voted for a Socialist.. You didn’t get one by voting for Barack Obama. If he was a Socialist, we’d all have free healthcare, every last citizen in this country would have it. And we don’t.

      Barack Obama was a disaster, but if you really believe a President Romney or a President McCain would have done any better–if they’d done anything at all–I’m sorry for you, because reality would clearly dictate otherwise.

    • Nancy N. says:

      So, let’s do some math…

      The combined total for my family’s monthly health insurance for 2 adults and a child, without subsidies, is a few dollars short of $1000/month. Throw in about $2500/year in additional copays & deductibles on top of that. Add all of that up and you are just short of $15,000.

      My family’s taxable income last year was about $24k. Explain to me how I am supposed to “pay my fair share” and eat and have a roof over my head when “my fair share” is 2/3 of my annual income?

      The whole idea of the subsidies is that people WILL pay their fair share, according to their income level. It is not a “fair share” to require me to pay 2/3 of my income.

  15. Obama 2015 says:

    So the GOP is pushing 1.3 Million people off health Insurance in Florida to save their lobbyist friends and it’s Obama’s fault. I can see why Scott was voted in again.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Here’s your answer, Nancy N.: You are supposed to “pull yourself up with your own bootstraps’ (even if it literally kills you.) Either that, or please have the common decency to suffer (or worse) discreetly so some fine specimens of our citizens can say, I got mine, F.U., on their way to Church on Sunday (because, you see, they represent WhatAmericaReallyStandsFor.)

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