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Money To Aid Health Insurance Enrollment

The Florida Channel
Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.

Florida Covering Kids & Families, a group based at the University of South Florida, has received a $1.3 million grant from the federal government to help enroll uninsured residents in the health-insurance exchange created under the Affordable Care Act. 

The group, a nonprofit initiative of The Lawton and Rhea Chiles Center for Healthy Mothers and Babies, will work with the Epilepsy Foundation of Florida, the Health Planning Council of Southwest Florida and the Health Planning Council of Northeast Florida on enrolling residents. Florida Covering Kids & Families was one of 34 organizations selected to receive the “navigator” grants from the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

The Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare, authorized navigators, which are charged with helping enroll uninsured residents and educating consumers about insurance options. Florida Covering Kids & Families received funding in 2013 to create a Navigator program in the state and then has received subsequent awards, according to its website.

Florida has more residents on the federal insurance exchange than any other state, with more than 1.78 million enrolled in 2019. Meanwhile, the state Office of Insurance Regulation announced last week that, on average, there would be no rate increases in Obamacare insurance plans sold on the exchange in 2020. Open enrollment for 2020 begins Nov. 1.