Florida eclipses California with highest number of consumers buying health insurance in US

Lifestyle and Budget Associated Press

Florida has eclipsed California to become the state with the highest number of consumers buying health insurance in both the state and federal exchange under the Affordable Care Act.

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Federal health officials said Wednesday that Florida's roughly 1.6 million enrollees includes both first time enrollees and some of the nearly 1 million Floridians who enrolled last year. California led the country last year with 1.2 million consumers, but lagged behind this year with a total of 1.4 million — 300,000 fewer than the state's goal.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 3.8 million of Florida's 19.5 million residents were without health insurance, making it the third-highest in the nation at 19.5 percent. By comparison, 6.5 million of California's nearly 38 million residents were without health insurance, about 17 percent.