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>>

  • Pinellas front desk school staff trained to handle medical needs at some schools

    Pinellas front desk school staff trained to handle medical needs at some schools

    Tuesday, August 26 2014 5:15 PM EDT2014-08-26 21:15:59 GMT
    Penny Perez, of St. Petersburg, worries every time she sends her 11-year-old son, Keith, to school. Keith has a rare condition called Williams Syndrome. He is developmentally delayed, and if his blood pressure is too high for an extended period of time, his heart could stop.
    Penny Perez, of St. Petersburg, worries every time she sends her 11-year-old son, Keith, to school. Keith has a rare condition called Williams Syndrome. He is developmentally delayed, and if his blood pressure is too high for an extended period of time, his heart could stop.
  • Venice man says he has melting dashboard in his Toyota Camry

    Venice man says he has melting dashboard in his Toyota Camry

    Tuesday, August 26 2014 5:01 PM EDT2014-08-26 21:01:38 GMT
    Kayser Sayeg doesn't allow his wife to drive her 2008 Toyota Camry on long distances.In the hot Florida sun, the dashboard melts and becomes incredibly sticky.Aside from being a nuisance to clean, it causes a glare in the windshield, sometimes making it difficult to drive
    Kayser Sayeg doesn't allow his wife to drive her 2008 Toyota Camry on long distances.In the hot Florida sun, the dashboard melts and becomes incredibly sticky.Aside from being a nuisance to clean, it causes a glare in the windshield, sometimes making it difficult to drive
  • Apple recalls iPhones for battery trouble

    Apple recalls iPhones for battery trouble

    Tuesday, August 26 2014 8:16 AM EDT2014-08-26 12:16:28 GMT
    Noticed your iPhone's battery life getting shorter? You may be eligible for a free replacement.
    Noticed your iPhone's battery life getting shorter? You may be eligible for a free replacement.
  • NewsMore>>

  • Tanker overturns on I-75, spills gas, closes lanes for hours

    Tanker overturns on I-75, spills gas, closes lanes for hours

    Wednesday, August 27 2014 12:35 PM EDT2014-08-27 16:35:25 GMT
    Northbound lanes on Interstate 75 between Bee Ridge Road and Fruitville Road are blocked since Wednesday morning after an accident involving a tanker. Officials say the roadways will not re-open until 8 p.m.
    Northbound lanes on Interstate 75 between Bee Ridge Road and Fruitville Road are blocked since Wednesday morning after an accident involving a tanker. Officials say the roadways will not re-open until 8 p.m.
  • Largo travel club head now caught up in Dr. Oz magic diet pill controversy

    Largo travel club head now caught up in Dr. Oz magic diet pill controversy

    Wednesday, August 27 2014 12:03 PM EDT2014-08-27 16:03:53 GMT
    File photo: Nicholas Congleton File photo: Nicholas Congleton
    It turns out the subject of an Eight On Your Side investigation of a local travel club has another claim to fame. He's at the heart of a "magic diet pill" promoted by Dr. Oz and vilified by the FTC.That means Nicholas Congleton is at the heart of two business schemes that are under investigating by state and federal consumer protection authorities for misleading or taking advantage of unwitting customers.
    It turns out the subject of an Eight On Your Side investigation of a local travel club has another claim to fame. He's at the heart of a "magic diet pill" promoted by Dr. Oz and vilified by the FTC.That means Nicholas Congleton is at the heart of two business schemes that are under investigating by state and federal consumer protection authorities for misleading or taking advantage of unwitting customers.
  • School officials to explain new Florida Standards

    School officials to explain new Florida Standards

    Wednesday, August 27 2014 5:13 AM EDT2014-08-27 09:13:59 GMT
    The majority of state's now use Common Core, a learning system that demands the same basics for every student. This school year, Florida is rolling out it's own tweaked version called the Florida Standards.
    The majority of state's now use Common Core, a learning system that demands the same basics for every student. This school year, Florida is rolling out it's own tweaked version called the Florida Standards.
  • 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.