FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - August 27, 2021
Jodi Ray, Director of Florida Covering Kids & Families, (FL-CKF), a community and consumer-focused nonprofit initiative based at the College of Public Health at the University of South Florida, announced that her organization has received an $11.9 million dollar award from the US Health and Human Service Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services for a ninth year of Affordable Care Act Marketplace enrollment and outreach programs. The award funds the operations of the Covering Florida consortium of 10 regional partners located throughout Florida.
Florida once again enjoyed the greatest number of ACA Marketplace enrollees in the United States during both last year’s six-week Open Enrollment season, (OE8) as well as during the recent American Rescue Plan Act Special Enrollment Period which ended on August 15th.
The total award this year is a tremendous increase over last year’s $1.6 million grant, thanks to a renewed emphasis on the Affordable Care Act by the Biden Administration. The funds will allow the consortium to expand its working team of Navigators statewide and allows Covering Florida to add two new consortium partners offering Navigator support in the state. Covering Florida welcomes back a former partner, the 90 Works organization in Pensacola, and a brand new partner, the United Way of Brevard County. Additional funding from the award will also allow increased outreach and marketing services to help the program educate more consumers about the Marketplace.
Open Enrollment begins on November 1st this year and continues until December 15th for those needing coverage beginning January 1st, 2022.
Ray stated “Our network of Navigators is recognized nationally for the service they provide to the communities across the state of Florida, for their high-quality work and for the amazing number of consumers who have been helped in gaining coverage for the last several years. Now more than ever, due to the acute needs related to the pandemic, our Navigators make an impactful difference in the lives of Floridians, and rest assured, we will continue our hard work and make best efforts on informing the public and helping them gain the coverage they deserve and access to the healthcare they need. Our services, as always are offered free of charge to Floridians and we need to get that information out to our normal audience as well as the countless residents who have been negatively impacted by the economics of Covid-19.”
The 9th annual Open Enrollment season is coming on the heels of the most challenging year and a half that Floridians have faced in the health care arena. The Covid-19 pandemic’s health impacts and its ongoing job and wage losses, and the related loss of employer-sponsored insurance make it tremendously important for consumers to be able to understand their options in successfully obtaining affordable health coverage for themselves and their families for 2022.
Covering Florida navigators deliver free outreach and enrollment services to any Floridian that needs to enroll in health care coverage in the Federal Health Insurance Marketplace. We assist consumers with telephone, in-person, and virtual online enrollment service and provide public education and outreach activities at locations throughout the state. Our navigators are trained and certified to help consumers as they shop for their health coverage options through the Marketplace, including completing eligibility and enrollment forms. Covering Florida navigator services are free to consumers, and we provide confidential one-on-one customer assistance in all of Florida’s 67 counties.
The pandemic has resulted in a tremendously increased level of need for services, and anyone impacted can find out what their coverage options are now, prior to Open Enrollment. Also, year-round Special Enrollment continues in order to assist eligible consumers who have lost or reduced income, change in residence or any of a number of other significant life changing circumstances. Please call us today to allow our team of experts help you with the specifics of your situation.
FL-CKF and its consortium partners have been providing Navigator services throughout the state of Florida since the first Open Enrollment period in 2013. The following partners comprise the 2021-2022 USF statewide consortium and are collectively known as "Covering Florida":
Big Bend Area Health Education Centers (AHEC) - Serving Bay, Calhoun, Franklin, Gadsden, Gulf, Holmes, Jackson, Jefferson, Liberty, Leon, Madison, Taylor, Wakulla, and Washington counties
Epilepsy Florida – Serving Broward, Indian River, Martin, Miami-Dade, Monroe, Okeechobee, Palm Beach, and St. Lucie counties.
Health Planning Council of Northeast Florida– Serving Baker, Clay, Duval, Flagler, Nassau, St. Johns, and Volusia counties.
Family Healthcare Foundation – Serving Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco, and Polk counties
Health Planning Council of Southwest Florida– Serving Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto, Glades, Hardee, Hendry, Highlands, Lee, Manatee and Sarasota counties.
90 Works- Serving Escambia, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa, and Walton counties.
Primary Care Access Network (PCAN, Covering Central Florida)– Serving Lake, Orange, Osceola, and Seminole counties.
Suwannee River Area Health Education Centers (AHEC) - Serving Alachua, Bradford, Citrus, Columbia, Dixie, Gilchrist, Hamilton, Hernando, Lafayette, Levy, Marion, Putnam, Sumter, Suwannee, and Union counties.
United Way of Brevard – Serving Brevard County.
University of South Florida Navigators– Providing Toll-Free and Virtual Services in ALL FL COUNTIES
Covering Florida is frequently called upon as an expert in health insurance coverage and health literacy for its ability to reach out to diverse audiences and educate consumers about health insurance coverage and utilization including options under the Affordable Care Act, Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and Medicaid. Covering Florida reaches consumers through partner organizations and collaborates with hundreds of organizations, many of which provide direct service to thousands of health care consumers. The organization focuses largely on advocating for and increasing access to care and services via enrollment for individuals with limited English proficiency, individuals with disabilities, populations underserved in the current private health insurance market, and vulnerable populations by employing multi-lingual Navigators, producing brochures in multiple languages, conducting workshops, and providing interviews in multiple languages.
For free in-person, telephone or virtual Navigator assistance state-wide visit
http://www.coveringflorida.org/ or call (877) 813-9115
Media Contact: Jody Young | 561-704-3912 | firstname.lastname@example.org
The project described was supported by Funding Opportunity Number CA-NAV-21-001 from the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. The contents provided are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of HHS or any of its agencies.