Insurance 'marketplace' expected to launch Oct. 1 - WJBF-TV ABC 6 Augusta-Aiken News, Weather, Sports

Insurance 'marketplace' expected to launch Oct. 1

Posted: Updated:
HERNANDO COUNTY, FL (WFLA) -

Cindy McNulty spends a lot of time trying to help pregnant women get health care and health coverage. But McNulty, a community liaison for Healthy Start Coalition of Pinellas County, doesn't have health insurance herself.

"I just feel like I'm living on the edge," McNulty said.

Although she gets physicals and traditional mammograms, she says she's avoided things like an expensive colonoscopy and a more advanced mammogram despite a concerning family history.

McNulty, 58, is hoping the new insurance "marketplace" launching in connection with the Affordable Care Act on Oct. 1 will be her answer to finding affordable coverage.

She is among 3.8 million Floridians who are uninsured. About 24.8 percent of residents under age 65 had no insurance in 2011, according to data released by the U.S. Census Bureau.

In addition to her salary from the non-profit, McNulty says she's given extra money to cover benefits, but the plan options she found were too expensive for her. Several years ago the estimate she got for coverage was $900 a month with a $1,000 deductible, she said.

Based on an online survey she took through the Kaiser Foundation, she thinks her options for premiums through the "marketplace" will be less than half that amount. Florida isn't running its own "marketplace" or "exchange," so she'll have to wait for the federal one to launch before she gets firm numbers.

BY THE NUMBERS: Check the subsidy calculator provided by the Kaiser Family Foundation

McNulty says she plans to be online and shopping for insurance "probably by 12:05" on Oct. 1.

News Channel 8 learned about McNulty through Melanie Hall, who serves as one of the new "navigators" designated to help people through the process of applying for and choosing an insurance plan.

The navigators program has been under fire in Florida, where Gov. Rick Scott has raised privacy concerns about the personal information they could handle, and where that information might end up. Hall said she's confident people's personal information will be safe.

"The federal government will be protecting this information the same way they're already protecting people's private information," she said.

While individuals signing up for insurance will have to put their social security number into the system, Hall says they won't have to give that information to a "navigator."

Once the info is in, some people will be eligible for discounts. Officially, they are "tax credits," but they can be applied immediately, according to information the government provides on healthcare.gov.

There are some misconceptions about who will qualify, Hall said.

"They tend to think this is a program only for low-income families," Hall said. "They don't realize 400 percent of the federal poverty level for a family of four goes up to $94,000. This is a middle income program."

Depending on income, some people will also be eligible for lower "out of pocket" costs insurance companies offer through the marketplace.

Sign up for free breaking news and headline email alerts http://8.wfla.com/18DCEqk

RELATED STORIES:

  • NewsMore>>

  • Girl, 9, hit by plane on Venice beach dies from injuries

    Girl, 9, hit by plane on Venice beach dies from injuries

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 2:43 PM EDT2014-07-29 18:43:07 GMT
    Ommy Irizarry with daughter Oceana - Courtesy InstagramOmmy Irizarry with daughter Oceana - Courtesy Instagram
    9-year-old Oceana Irizzary, who was critically injured in the plane crash off Caspersen Beach in Venice on Sunday afternoon, has died.
    9-year-old Oceana Irizzary, who was critically injured in the plane crash off Caspersen Beach in Venice on Sunday afternoon, has died.
  • Defense: No evidence McTear killed baby

    Defense: No evidence McTear killed baby

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 2:08 PM EDT2014-07-29 18:08:42 GMT
    Richard McTear in court Tuesday (pool photo)Richard McTear in court Tuesday (pool photo)
    After the state rested its case in the Richard McTear murder trial Monday, the defense began presenting its case.
    After the state rested its case in the Richard McTear murder trial Monday, the defense began presenting its case.
  • Date of this year's Knight Parade is no sweetheart deal for some Ybor Business owners

    Date of this year's Knight Parade is no sweetheart deal for some Ybor Business owners

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 1:37 PM EDT2014-07-29 17:37:38 GMT
    Facebook Photo: Knights of St. Yago Knight ParadeFacebook Photo: Knights of St. Yago Knight Parade
    It's a scheduling issue for some, a relationship problem for others and a lost revenue opportunity for business owners.This year the Knights of St. Yago Knight Parade will be held on February 14-th.Several restaurant owners in Ybor are not happy with the date
    It's a scheduling issue for some, a relationship problem for others and a lost revenue opportunity for business owners.This year the Knights of St. Yago Knight Parade will be held on February 14-th.Several restaurant owners in Ybor are not happy with the date
  • Sign up for WFLA News Channel 8 Email Alerts

    * denotes required fields






    Thank you for signing up! You will receive a confirmation email shortly.
Powered by WorldNow

1336 Augusta West Parkway
Augusta, GA 30909

Telephone: 706.722.6664
Email: talkback6@wjbf.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.