navigator

AP

FREEPORT  — In this rural part of the Panhandle, Christopher Mitchell finds few takers when he delivers his message about the importance of exploring insurance options under the federal health overhaul. 

Lynn Hatter/WFSU / WFSU

Thirty or so attendees at St. Mary Primitive Baptist Church in Tallahassee, Fla., gathered on a recent evening to hear a presentation by the Obamacare Enrollment Team on their options to get insurance under the Affordable Care Act. 

"If anybody is interested in getting enrolled, we can get you enrolled tonight," they were told.

Signs outside the church looked official: A familiar, large "O" with a blue outline, white center and three red stripes.

Floridians who use county health departments for primary care are mostly too poor to qualify for enrollment in a health plan through the online Marketplace to open Oct. 1, the Department of Health says.

So it makes more sense for “navigators” -- enrollment advisors for the uninsured who seek health coverage on the online Marketplace beginning Oct. 1 --  to go to other locations such as hospital emergency rooms, or county libraries, the memo says.

U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius was in Jacksonville today for a meeting at the Sulzsbacher Center about the Affordable Care Act.

Sebelius sat down with Jacksonville Mayor Alvin Brown, Congresswoman Corinne Brown and some two-dozen leaders of Jacksonville’s non-profit community to address their concerns.

The Obama administration has turned over to a Congressional committee the grant applications for groups that are training “Navigators,” attempting to deflect political heat away from the groups while they’re busy training enrollment advisors.

On his blog Our Health Policy Matters, health consultant Paul Gionfriddo says that members of Congress who took time during their vacation to demand more information about health insurance navigators have bigger issues to worry about. The navigator contracts, Gionfriddo writes, are minuscule compared to defense service contracts that lawmakers aren’t scrutinizing.   

State Cabinet officials expressed concern Tuesday that the federal government's "navigator" plan would place Floridians' personal information in danger. They urged citizens to use state-licensed insurance agents to get help deciding which is the best insurance plan when the federal online Marketplace opens Oct. 1.

Gov. Rick Scott said he fears that the federal government wants to amass a huge database of personal information on citizens' health.  He said he's worried that the navigators will turn over information for that database.

Miami.com

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.

University of South Florida will receive the lion's share of "Navigator Grants" being issued for Florida, according to the Department of Health and Human Services. Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is to make the announcement at USF at noon.

The list of grants released for Florida totals around $7.8 million -- more than the $5.8 million that had been expected.