Floridians can sign up for Affordable Care Act health insurance up until May 15

Health care worker explaining medical records to patient in office. Credit: Maskot/Getty Images

Uninsured Floridians now have access to health coverage through the federal HealthCare.gov platform — part of a directive from the Biden administration to provide affordable health insurance during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Americans across the country can sign up for the Affordable Care Act’s health coverage through a special enrollment period that started Monday and will continue through May 15. Thirty-six states including Florida use the federal Marketplace to offer health insurance.

According to the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), around 8.3 million people have already enrolled in marketplace coverage through HealthCare.gov during the 2021 Open Enrollment Period.

“This expanded enrollment time is invaluable for trying to reach underserved communities and getting the word out that uninsured Floridians may qualify for affordable and quality health care coverage,” Anne Swerlick, senior policy analyst and attorney at Florida Policy Institute, said in an email to the Florida Phoenix.

While health care has been a major issue for thousands of uninsured people, state lawmakers in Florida have yet to expand the Medicaid program for low-income residents.

And the coronavirus crisis has triggered cuts in health coverage, as millions of Americans have lost their jobs and their employer sponsored health insurance.

Mark Ferrulo, executive director of Progress Florida, said in an email to the Phoenix that “Biden’s actions are a welcome change after four years during which (former President) Trump and his allies sought to destroy the Affordable Care Act.”

He added, “No Floridian should have to decide between bankruptcy, or life-saving care for themselves or their families, especially during a deadly pandemic.”

Issac Morgan
Issac Morgan is a 2009 graduate of Florida A&M University's School of Journalism, and a proud native of Tallahassee. He has covered city council and community events at the Gadsden County Times, worked as a sports news assistant at the Tallahassee Democrat, a communications specialist for the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, and as a proofreader at the Florida Law Weekly.