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Open enrollment for ACA coverage ends Jan. 15. Here's how Floridians can get help

 More than 3.1 million Floridians have already signed up for coverage during the open enrollment period.
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More than 3.1 million Floridians have already signed up for coverage during the open enrollment period.

Floridians have a few days left to enroll in health insurance plans offered on the Affordable Care Act marketplace. The deadline is Jan. 15.

Choosing a health care plan in just a few days can seem overwhelming, said Jodi Ray, who helps people sign up for plans as director of Florida Covering Kids & Families at the University of South Florida's College of Public Health.

But she said it's important people get coverage.

Many Floridians may not realize they qualify for low-cost plans, said Ray.

They can meet in-person or virtually with health care navigators who can answer questions and help sift through marketplace options.

“We can help narrow that down so that folks can make an informed decision about what's the best coverage option for them and their families,” said Ray.

Federal health officials are reporting a record high enrollment period nationally, with a 13% increase so far this year compared to last. Nearly 16 million Americans have signed up for plans since Nov. 1, with 3.1 million of them living in Florida, according to an update the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services' published Wednesday.

Ray suspects the Biden administration's decision to extend premium tax credits to help people pay for health care is contributing to high enrollment figures.

“I think that makes the idea of being able to have health care seem more affordable for a lot of people that were keeping themselves out of coverage because it just really wasn't attainable based on cost,” she said.

How to get help

You can schedule an appointment with a navigator on CoveringFlorida.org.

You can also call the statewide helpline 877-813-9115.

Copyright 2023 WUSF Public Media - WUSF 89.7. To see more, visit WUSF Public Media - WUSF 89.7.

Stephanie Colombini joined WUSF Public Media in December 2016 as Producer of Florida Matters,WUSF’s public affairs show. She’s also a reporter for WUSF’s Health News Florida project.