wjxt logo

Need insurance? Sunday’s your deadline for ACA coverage

Florida Blue among insurance providers making last-minute push for sign-ups

Florida Blue among insurance providers making last-minute push for sign-ups.
Florida Blue among insurance providers making last-minute push for sign-ups.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Time is running out if you want to sign up for health insurance through the Affordable Care Act.

The deadline to enroll in coverage through the federal program is Sunday.

One of Florida’s leading carriers, Florida Blue, estimates there are about 85,000 people uninsured in the Jacksonville area.

Which isn’t a good thing since bills for the uninsured could be astronomical, especially during the pandemic.

The average medical bill for someone who is hospitalized with COVID-19 is $73,300, according to Florida Blue research. While much of that is covered under most insurance plans, those without insurance would be on the hook.

Lynette Jones Turpin was adjusting her plan Friday, trying to save money on her ACA insurance, which she’s had since the legislation first took effect.

“Anything could happen,” she said. “You could step on something, break your leg, anything can happen. So, when you’re insured, you have that comfort knowing you can go to the doctor, go to the hospital without any problems.”

She visited the Florida Blue office at the River City Marketplace where staff is stressing the importance of having coverage. They’re working extra hours there, at the St. Johns Town Center and the Riverside YMCA to sign people up.

“The cost of health care is just rising and rising,” Florida Blue insurance representative Brenda Jackson said. “I’m concerned about people not being insured, maybe getting COVID-19.”

There are other companies with a last-minute push offering the low-cost, government-subsidized insurance too. Americans have many options for coverage but the same deadline: Sunday.

“If individuals in 2021 file for unemployment, it’s a good chance that they can be eligible for a zero-dollar monthly premium,” said Florida Blue manager Barry Case.

Turpin said she’s thankful to be insured, especially during such an uncertain time.

“With everything that’s going on today...everybody needs insurance,” she said. “No one should be without it.”

Signing up is easy and can take approximately 30 minutes to complete.

Customers can enroll online, over the phone or in person. Below is a list of resources you can use:

  • Call 1-800-352-2583
  • Stop by a Florida Blue Center at the St. Johns Town Center, River City Marketplace or Winston YMCA on Riverside

Florida Blue agents also will be at several vaccine clinics this week to help people enroll:

  • 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 14: Wayman Temple at 1176 Labelle St.
  • 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 14: Jacksonville Alumni Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity house (across from Raines High School), 3717 Moncrief Rd. W.

About the Author:

Lifetime Jacksonville resident anchors the 8 and 9 a.m. weekday newscasts and is part of the News4Jax I-Team.