What Uninsured Florida Residents Need to Know About February 15th Enrollment Deadline


    By Anna V. Eskamani


    February 15 is just around the corner and Planned Parenthood staff and volunteers are working double time to ensure our patients and the communities we serve have information about new, more affordable health insurance plans available to them thanks to the Affordable Care Act.


    February 15 is an important deadline because it marks the end of open enrollment in the Marketplace for the enrollment period this year. The health care law says that most Americans must get insurance or pay a fine.  It’s important that people know that the fine for this year is $325 per family member without insurance (or 2% of your family’s income).  It’s also important to know that most Americans will get help paying for a plan.  So make sure to learn more about the financial help you can get.  Check out the calculator on PlannedParenthoodHealthInsuranceFacts.org to get a sense of how much financial help you can get.


    As the nation’s leading women’s health care provider and advocate, Planned Parenthood fought hard for the law’s passage, and now we are working to make sure our patients and the communities we serve know about their new health care options. In the week leading up to the February 15 enrollment deadline, we’ll be hosting enrollment opportunities in our health centers and working alongside Congressman Alan Grayson’s team to host two enrollment events in Central Florida. Visit our website www.ppgo.org to learn more.


    Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, Florida residents who have insurance can see a range of health care providers when they need to. Across the country, millions of women now have access to birth control, routine well-woman exams, breast and cervical cancer screenings, and mammograms for women over 40, without copays or other out-of-pocket expenses.


    And for the Florida residents who don’t have insurance, or families and small businesses who buy their coverage but aren’t happy with it, they have through February 15 to enroll in new, more affordable plans through the federal Marketplace. So far, over 1.3 million Floridians have signed up for health insurance through the federal marketplace. Planned Parenthood is continuing to lead awareness, education and enrollment efforts here in Florida. Our health care providers, educators and volunteers are ready to help women figure out what the law means for them and how to find a plan that works best for them. Our website PlannedParenthoodHealthInsuranceFacts.org provides a glossary of important terms related to the law and health insurance, a calculator that helps visitors get a sense of what kind of financial help they can get, and specifics on what to consider as a woman choosing a health insurance plan.  It even includes a tool that helps people find in-person help near them – and you can schedule an appointment online for in-person help.  And no matter where you live – you can start the enrollment process right on PlannedParenthoodHealthInsuranceFacts.org.


    For almost 100 years, Planned Parenthood has been providing expert women’s health care, and that’s not changing. Whether you have health insurance or not, you can still come to Planned Parenthood for birth control, cancer screenings and the other care you need, when you need it. If you’re still not covered, you have until February 15. Now is the time – go to your local Planned Parenthood health center and get the information you need to enroll.


    Anna V. Eskamani is the Director of External Affairs, Planned Parenthood of Greater Orlando.