WUSF launches series on Affordable Care Act

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WUSF’s Health News Florida is launching a three-month series of in-depth stories focused on how the second year of enrollment of the Affordable Care Act’s HealthCare.gov marketplace directly affects Floridians. The stories coincide with the open enrollment period, which opens for its second year on Nov. 15.

The pieces will air on WUSF 89.7 and be published on HealthNewsFlorida.org on the following Thursdays: Nov. 13, Nov. 20, Dec. 4, Dec. 11, Dec. 18 and January 8. They also are available for broadcast on WUSF’s partner NPR affiliates across Florida.

“Our goal with this series is to pull away from the politics and give Floridians accurate, unbiased information they can use to navigate this second year of open enrollment on HealthCare.gov,” said Mary Shedden, editor of Health News Florida. “We want to arm small business owners, college students, recent graduates and all consumers with the information they need to understand Obamacare.”

The first piece, available Nov. 13, will provide an overview for all Floridians detailing what is new for people who already have policies on the exchange through HealthCare.gov.  The second piece will focus on “SHOP,” a new part of the exchange that allows small business owners to buy group coverage for their employees.

Over the course of the three-month series, Health News Florida also will answer questions for Floridians  including: how new customers to the exchange can sign up for the first time; what options face Floridians who remain unable to afford insurance and are currently in Florida’s coverage gap; how advocates are focusing enrollment efforts on Hispanic Floridians.

In addition to the radio series, Health News Florida will also provide educational information surrounding the Affordable Care Act on its website, HealthNewsFlorida.org under the “Understanding Obamacare” tab.  Visitors will find helpful tools, articles and documents to help navigate the open enrollment period between Nov. 15 and Feb. 15.

Phil Ammann is a St. Petersburg-based journalist and blogger. With more than three decades of writing, editing and management experience, Phil produced material for both print and online, in addition to founding HRNewsDaily.com. His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for Patch.com, technical articles and profiles for BetterRVing Magazine and advice columns for a metaphysical website, among others. Phil has served as a contributor and production manager for SaintPetersBlog since 2013. He lives in St. Pete with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul and can be reached at phil@floridapolitics.com and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.