BRADENTON – As the March 31 deadline approaches, the federal government says that approximately 4.2 million people have signed up for health care plans as part of the Affordable Care Act (numbers reflect enrollment as of the end of February).
According to official figures, Florida ranks second overall with 442,087 people having signed up for private plans and leads all states that use the federal government's exchange. California leads the nation in overall enrollment with 868,936 people having gone into private plans, but has its own state-run exchange.
Florida decided not to create its own exchange, while also turning down more than $50 million in federal funding to expand Medicaid to its poorest citizens. March is the last month in which those without qualifying health insurance plans can enroll for coverage through the federal program without facing a fine.
The most recent report (click for PDF) does not differentiate among enrollees, as to how many were previously uninsured, making it hard to judge the law's impact on helping the uninsured get coverage. However, according to a Gallup poll, the percentage of Americans without health insurance has dropped from and all-time high of 18 percent in 2013 to 15.9 percent today, after rising continuously in previous years.
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