© 2023 All Rights reserved WUSF
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
Healthy State tells the stories you need to know to stay well, with a special focus on Florida.We'll bring you the latest fitness trends, new research on preventing and treating disease, and information about how health policy impacts your pocketbook.We report on health using all the tools at our disposal -- video, audio, photos and text -- to bring these stories to life.Healthy State is a project of WUSF Public Media in Tampa and is heard on public radio stations throughout Florida. It also is available online at wusfnews.org.

'Navigator' Grants: $4.2M to USF


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. (An updated article will be posted following the press conference.)

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

Florida Covering Kids & Families, part of a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation-funded national program that has its Florida base at USF's College of Public Health, is the winner of the largest grant in the state. Jodi Ray, project director, said Thursday morning that she had not received any advance word on whether her program would be chosen.

Covering Kids leads a state-wide consortium of 10 partners that will blanket the state to help uninsured individuals and small businesses figure out how to gain coverage through the online Marketplace, which opens Oct. 1.

Other single-state grant winners in Florida: Epilepsy Foundation of Florida, $637,686; Legal Aid Society of Palm Beach County, $446,783; and Pinellas County, $600,000. Florida will also get a piece of several multistate grants (see list).

The grants to Florida groups are part of a total of $67 million awarded to 105 organizations nationwide. The $7.8 million in grants for Florida is not expected to be enough to deal with enrollment in a state with 3.8 million uninsured people.

Many states with smaller uninsured populations are able to spend a lot more money on navigators because their governments have been working to implement the Affordable Care Act; Florida's state government has not.

For example, as the New York Times reports, New York will spend $27 million on navigators, Maryland $24 million, and Colorado $17 million. All those states are running their own marketplaces with major federal funding.

The navigator grants come in addition to those recently made available to community health centers to hire enrollment and outreach workers. Florida centers received $21 million in May.

In other news about the Obama administration's rollout of major parts of the ACA, several reports have come out lately saying the navigator funding and training is behind schedule and so are parts of the online marketplace security system, as McClatchy Newspapers report. But spokesmen for HHS say the market will be ready for business on time, Oct. 1.

--Health News Florida is part of WUSF Public Media.  Contact Editor Carol Gentry at (desk) 813-974-8629 or (cell) 727-410-3266 or by e-mail at cgentry@wusf.org. For more health news, visit HealthNewsFlorida.org.

Carol Gentry, founder and special correspondent of Health News Florida, has four decades of experience covering health finance and policy, with an emphasis on consumer education and protection.After serving two years as a Peace Corps volunteer in Colombia, Gentry worked for a number of newspapers including The Wall Street Journal, St. Petersburg Times (now Tampa Bay Times), the Tampa Tribune and Orlando Sentinel. She was a Kaiser Foundation Media Fellow in 1994-95 and earned an Master's in Public Administration at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government in 1996. She directed a journalism fellowship program at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for four years.Gentry created Health News Florida, an independent non-profit health journalism publication, in 2006, and served as editor until September, 2014, when she became a special correspondent. She and Health News Florida joined WUSF in 2012.
WUSF 89.7 depends on donors for the funding it takes to provide you the most trusted source of news and information here in town, across our state, and around the world. Support WUSF now by giving monthly, or make a one-time donation online.