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

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:

  • 8 On Your SideMore>>

  • Home Depot probing 'Unusual Activity' after reports of data breach

    Home Depot probing 'Unusual Activity' after reports of data breach

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 1:55 PM EDT2014-09-02 17:55:41 GMT
    Home Depot may be the latest retailer to suffer a massive credit card breachHome Depot may be the latest retailer to suffer a massive credit card breach
    Home Depot may be the latest retailer to have suffered a massive credit card breach, the company confirmed on Tuesday, after Krebs on Security reported that a large cache of stolen data had appeared on black market sites.
    Home Depot may be the latest retailer to have suffered a massive credit card breach, the company confirmed on Tuesday, after Krebs on Security reported that a large cache of stolen data had appeared on black market sites.
  • Magic diet pill promoter found running new business in Tampa

    Magic diet pill promoter found running new business in Tampa

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 12:54 PM EDT2014-09-02 16:54:32 GMT
    File Photo: Nick CongletonFile Photo: Nick Congleton
    Nick Congleton is in hot water with the FTC for selling "magic diet pills," and under investigation by Florida's Attorney General for a defunct travel club that owes hundreds of consumers for vacations they never received.Now, he's keeping a low profile and running a new business out of an unmarkedwarehouse in the Channelside District, where he didn't have much to say to Eight On Your Side this morning.
    Nick Congleton is in hot water with the FTC for selling "magic diet pills," and under investigation by Florida's Attorney General for a defunct travel club that owes hundreds of consumers for vacations they never received.Now, he's keeping a low profile and running a new business out of an unmarkedwarehouse in the Channelside District, where he didn't have much to say to Eight On Your Side this morning.
  • Community reaches out to Spring Hill family after theft of lawn equipment

    Community reaches out to Spring Hill family after theft of lawn equipment

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 8:45 AM EDT2014-09-02 12:45:21 GMT
    Michael Depace wants to say "thank you" and give a huge hug to everyone that reached out after a thief stole $3,500 worth of lawn equipment from him.
    Michael Depace wants to say "thank you" and give a huge hug to everyone that reached out after a thief stole $3,500 worth of lawn equipment from him.
  • NewsMore>>

  • Legoland unveils new character corner

    Legoland unveils new character corner

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 2:27 PM EDT2014-09-02 18:27:56 GMT
    Photo: Legoland Florida ResortPhoto: Legoland Florida Resort
    On Tuesday, Legoland has announced a new way for guests to meet and mingle with their favorite Lego characters, titled Buddy's Character Corner!
    On Tuesday, Legoland has announced a new way for guests to meet and mingle with their favorite Lego characters, titled Buddy's Character Corner!
  • Dead fish creating problems on Honeymoon Island

    Dead fish creating problems on Honeymoon Island

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 2:24 PM EDT2014-09-02 18:24:04 GMT
    Red Tide spotted on the shore of Honeymoon Island.Red Tide spotted on the shore of Honeymoon Island.
    Scattered on the shore of Honeymoon Island in Pinellas county are hundreds of dead fish.Park rangers started noticing the fish wash on shore on Friday, just before one of the busiest holiday weekends of the year."In some spots it scattered and as you move up north on the beach it's up in the hundreds of fish," said park manager Pete Krulder.
    Scattered on the shore of Honeymoon Island in Pinellas county are hundreds of dead fish.Park rangers started noticing the fish wash on shore on Friday, just before one of the busiest holiday weekends of the year."In some spots it scattered and as you move up north on the beach it's up in the hundreds of fish," said park manager Pete Krulder.
  • Largo teacher arrested for DUI in Labor Day crash

    Largo teacher arrested for DUI in Labor Day crash

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 1:42 PM EDT2014-09-02 17:42:58 GMT
    A Largo middle school teacher was charged with DUI on Monday after being involved in a five-car crash.
    A Largo middle school teacher was charged with DUI on Monday after being involved in a five-car crash.
  • 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.