Volunteers spread word about 'Obamacare' changes

Associated Press | 8/1/2013, 2:51 p.m.

Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty said most of the state's roughly 3.5 million uninsured residents will not see extreme price hikes. The new insurance plans will be more comprehensive, making direct comparisons to existing plans impossible.

Critics said the projections were misleading because the state didn't release figures for the actual plans.

Last week, a progressive advocacy group announced its plans to go on the offensive on "Obamacare'' in Florida.

"When we are met with what we believe is mythical info... we are going to push back aggressively,'' said Brad Woodhouse of Americans United for Change.

Meanwhile, conservative groups like The Heritage Foundation will hold a town hall event in Tampa later this month to highlight what they call failures of the law and discuss ways to strip funding for it.

CEO Mike Needham warned that health care premiums will increase and businesses will cut jobs because they can't afford to offer health coverage to employees.

U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, the Florida Republican who has been a vocal critic of the Affordable Care Act, planned to discuss the law with business leaders in Gainesville on Monday night.

"I think one of the largest drivers of uncertainty in our economy today is the cloud of 'Obamacare' hanging over it,'' he said during an event in Jacksonville earlier Monday.

The new marketplaces, which are open for enrollment Oct. 1, will have the feel of an online travel site where individuals, families and small businesses can compare different private insurance plans. Consumers will be able to choose from plans that offer a range of premiums, deductibles and co-pays depending on variables such as how many doctors that a person wants included in his or her network. Residents making less than $48,000 a year will receive a federal voucher to help offset premium costs.

Anyone making below the poverty line, $11,490 for an individual or $23,550 for a family of four, won't be eligible for subsidies through the online marketplace.