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As Sunday Deadline Looms, Duval Expected To Pass 100k Health Insurance Enrollees

Colin Dunn

The last chance to enroll in health insurance through the federal marketplace is Sunday.

Northeast Florida health insurance navigators are urging First Coast residents not to pass up on the opportunity, even if they think they might not qualify.

That’s because the consequences for not enrolling have never been as severe.

More than 90,000 Duval County residents have already signed up, but Health Planning Council of Northeast Florida’s Angela DeMonbreun says that number could be much higher.

“We know there are more, but Florida is still on track to be number one in enrollment for this year. And Duval County is certainly going to reach 100,000, if not more,” she says.

As enthusiastic as DeMonbreun is, she says the fact that Florida is one of 19 states that have refused federal money to expand Medicaid coverage, puts some people in a precarious position.

“They make too much to qualify for state Medicaid, and they don't make enough to qualify for help on,” she says.

Lawmakers are not expected to take up Medicaid expansion this year, even with a half-billion-dollar loss in federal funding for indigent health care looming.

Still, DeMonbreun says many Northeast Florida residents qualify but simply haven’t signed up. She invites people to discuss coverage options at Riverside‘s St. Vincent’s Hospital Saturday. 

Ryan Benk is a former WJCT News reporter who joined the station in 2015 after working as a news researcher and reporter for NPR affiliate WFSU in Tallahassee.