FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 5, 2018
Media Contact: Jody Young | 561-704-3912 | firstname.lastname@example.org
The story of Open Enrollment 6 (OE6) so far is that, despite mixed messaging, consumer confusion and dire budget cuts, Floridians are still demanding affordable and accessible health care.
Jodi Ray, Director of Florida Covering Kids & Families, (FL-CKF) a community and consumer-focused nonprofit initiative of The Chiles Center, based in the College of Public Health at the University of South Florida, has been telling anyone listening of our concerns that the sixth year of Affordable Care Act enrollment and outreach programs in Florida was facing critical shortages in both manpower and outreach funds.
Despite those concerns, Floridians are still signing up and that is a very encouraging sign…but there remains much work to be done until the December 15th deadline for Open Enrollment.
Ray stated, “Our Navigators not only do outreach and sign-ups, but we help consumers update their accounts, resolve data matching issues, understand their coverage options and how to use the coverage, file appeals and exemptions, inform them on the impact of unpaid premiums, and refer them to health care providers and community resources. Because of the decreased resources for outreach and marketing we will still need more help from the communities and from the media during early December to make sure the Open Enrollment window and deadlines is widely shared and publicized.”
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 2018-2019 USF statewide consortium and are collectively known as "Covering Florida":
- Health Planning Council of Northeast Florida– Serving Baker, Clay, Duval, Flagler, Nassau, St. Johns, and Volusia counties
- Health Planning Council of Southwest Florida– Serving Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto, Glades, Hendry, Lee, Sarasota, Highlands, Hardee, and Manatee counties
- Primary Care Access Network– Serving Orange, Osceola, Seminole, and Lake counties
- Epilepsy Florida – Serving Broward, Miami-Dade, Monroe, and Palm Beach counties
- Family Healthcare Foundation – Serving Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco and Polk counties
- University of South Florida Navigators– Serving Madison, Taylor, Jefferson, Gadsden, Wakulla, Liberty, Franklin, Leon, Escambia, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa, Walton, Holmes, Jackson, Washington, Calhoun, Gulf, Bay, Alachua, Bradford, Citrus, Columbia, Dixie, Gilchrist, Hamilton, Hernando, Lafayette, Levy, Marion, Putnam, Sumter, Suwannee and Union 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 various languages.
For free in-person, telephone or virtual Navigator assistance state-wide visit http://www.coveringflorida.org/
or call (877) 813-9115
The project described was supported by Funding Opportunity Number NAVCA180333-01-00from 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.