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Grants: Who's In, Who's Out?

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

It appears that virtually all counties in the state will receive "navigators" to help their uninsured residents learn how to get coverage under the Affordable Care Act except the one county that needs help most: Miami-Dade.

With more than 30 percent of its under-65 population lacking health insurance, Miami-Dade is not among the counties listed as a specific target by organizations who received Navigator Grants. On Thursday,  Kathleen Sebelius, secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, announced $7.8 million in grants for Florida.

The groups receiving grant money will hire "navigators" and train them to find, inform and help uninsured Floridians who need to enroll for coverage when the online Marketplace opens Oct. 1 for coverage starting Jan. 1.

The largest award, $4.2 million, went to Florida Covering Kids & Families, based at University of South Florida's College of Public Health. On Friday, at Health News Florida's request, Covering Kids released the names of its nine "partner" groups around the state that will carry out the mission. Most are non-profit health councils or consumer groups (see the list).

The list of grant recipients shows that one group or another covers most counties in Florida, excluding Miami-Dade, Broward and Monroe counties. But Broward will be a focus of Advanced Patient Advocacy LLC, which received a grant of over $400,000.

The South Florida Navigators Consortium applied for a Navigator Grant separately, but was not among the winners announced Thursday.  (Correction: An earlier version gave the wrong name for the applicant.)

That list was:

  • University of South Florida: $4.2 million
  • Pinellas County Board of Commissioners: $600,000
  • Epilepsy Foundation of Florida: $637,686
  • Advanced Patient Advocacy, LLC: $413,152
  • Legal Aid Society of Palm Beach County: $446,783
  • National Hispanic Council on Aging: $646,825
  • Cardon Healthcare Network LLC: $238,000
  • Mental Health America: $683,691
Carol Gentry, founder and special correspondent of Health News Florida, has four decades of experience covering health finance and policy, with an emphasis on consumer education and protection.