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Affordable Care Act Open Enrollment Brings New Questions

An assortment of prescription medications

Open enrollment for 2018 health coverage begins in about one month, but as happened last year, rumors have already begun circulating about astronomical premium increases.

Most Floridians never saw their deductibles go up as projected last year, and several saw them actually decrease in spite of the frightening headlines. That’s because most of the quoted hikes were covered by the healthcare exchange in the end. But, now, a new batch of ominous rumors is going around.

Florida Blue’s west Florida market president, David Pizzo, joins Gulf Coast Live to clear up some of the misinformation.

Marilyn Gregory of the Health Planning Council of Southwest Florida will also join the show. She talks about the federal funding Floridians can expect to see offset some of the out-of-pocket costs.

Gulf Coast Live talked about the 340,000 children at risk of being uninsured earlier this week due to the expiration of the Children's Healthcare Insurance Program, or CHIP. Xonjenese Jacobs of USF Health Florida Covering Kids and Families talks about the alternative options Southwest Florida families have as open enrollment approaches.

Rachel Iacovone is a reporter and associate producer of Gulf Coast Live for WGCU News. Rachel came to WGCU as an intern in 2016, during the presidential race. She went on to cover Florida Gulf Coast University students at President Donald Trump's inauguration on Capitol Hill and Southwest Floridians in attendance at the following day's Women's March on Washington.Rachel was first contacted by WGCU when she was managing editor of FGCU's student-run media group, Eagle News. She helped take Eagle News from a weekly newspaper to a daily online publication with TV and radio branches within two years, winning the 2016 Society of Professional Journalists Mark of Excellence Award for Best Use of Multimedia in a cross-platform series she led for National Coming Out Day. She also won the Mark of Excellence Award for Feature Writing for her five-month coverage of an FGCU student's transition from male to female.As a WGCU reporter, she produced the first radio story in WGCU's Curious Gulf Coast project, which answered the question: Does SWFL Have More Cases of Pediatric Cancer?Rachel graduated from Florida Gulf Coast University with a bachelor's degree in journalism.
Matthew Smith is a reporter and producer of WGCU’s Gulf Coast Live.