WellFlorida partners with USF to help eligible uninsured get health care

University of South Florida News Release

The Department of Health and Human Services navigator award is the largest in Florida, and second largest nationwide.

The University of South Florida has been awarded a one-year, $4.2-million federal grant to help eligible uninsured Floridians who want in-person assistance with shopping for and enrolling in plans through the Health Insurance Marketplace, beginning this fall.

The Florida Covering Kids & Families program (FL-CKF) at the Lawton and Rhea Chiles Center, received second largest award out of $67 million in “Navigator” grant awards distributed nationwide to 105 organizations by the Department of Health and Human Services. USF got the largest of these awards among eight recipients in Florida.

HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius recognized FL-CKF’s well-established, successful community outreach in helping thousands of uninsured children in Florida get health care following her announcement of the new awards on Thursday, August 15 at a press conference in the USF College of Health. Sebelius was introduced by Donna Petersen, ScD, interim senior vice president of USF Health and dean of the public health college.“Navigators will be among the many resources available to help consumers understand their coverage options in the marketplace,” Sebelius said, “so they can find the option that best fits their budget and need.”

USF will oversee and work with consortium of 11 partners across Florida in reaching out to ethnically and racially diverse individuals and families in urban, suburban and rural communities.  Navigators will be trained and certified to provide unbiased information in a culturally competent manner to consumers about health insurance, the new Health Insurance Marketplaces, qualified health plans, and public programs including Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program.

Jodi Ray, project director of FL-CKF, said the new DHHS award will allow USF to build on a network already in place to serve a larger population of Floridians in need of health insurance coverage.

“This grant will help us expand the work we have been doing to enroll children to eligible adults,” Ray said. “We have many community-based grassroots efforts that will allow navigators to go to the place where people are to assist them.”

USF will work with the following 11 partners in expanding its education, outreach and enrollment initiatives:  Health Council of Southeast Florida, The Kids Healthcare Foundation, Primary Care Access Network, Health Planning Council of Southwest Florida, WellFlorida Council, United Way of Brevard, Panhandle Area Educational Consortium, Health Planning Council of Northeast Florida, Northwest Florida Comprehensive Services for Children (Families Count), and Florida CHAIN.

Read more about this topic:

‘Navigator’ Grants: $42 M to USF, Health News Florida

US Health & Human Services Secretary Awards Grant to USF, Health News Florida

Grants: Who’s In, Who’s Out?, Health News Florida

 

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WellFlorida Council, Inc. is a private, nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization created in 1969. We are the state designated local health council for 16 counties in North Central Florida and specialize in health-related consultancy for clients and projects throughout Florida.

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