Federal healthcare "Navigators" meant to help low-income people sign up for health insurance have been barred from Florida’s county health departments. Health reform advocates are blasting the state for hindering access to coverage with the Navigator program scheduled to begin in two weeks.
As Health News Florida first reported, the Florida Department of Health has directed county health departments to not allow outreach workers called Navigators to enroll people in insurance on their grounds. In a written statement, the department says it’s not sure whether consumers’ information collected by Navigators will be stored in an unsecured federal database.
But Florida Center for Fiscal and Economic Policy director Karen Woodall says, “We already put Floridians’ information into state and federal databases all the time, and I really think that the concern that’s been raised is a bit disingenuous.”
She says Navigators will do their outreach at health fairs and other places throughout communities.