Federal Health Care 'Navigators' Find Way To Florida

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By Mike Vasilinda
August 20, 2013

The Federal government is giving Florida 7.8 million dollars to hire “Navigators” to help people sign up for the Affordable Care Act. But Governor Rick Scott and Attorney General Pam Bondi are raising privacy concerns.

The US Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius came to Tampa last week to announce cash for the state is to move forward on Federal Health Care reform. “Will help local individuals and families apply for coverage,” says Kathleen Sebelius.

This letter, from Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi and 12 other Republican Attorneys General raises questions about training for the new Navigators. Bondi vocalized the concerns at a State Cabinet meeting Tuesday.

“Are they going to be fingerprinted? Are they going to get background checks? Here’s why that is important, they are going to have access to your tax information,” says Pam Bondi Attorney General (Courtesy : The Florida Channel).

Bondi was joined by the Governor who asked pointed questions of the state Insurance Commissioner. “Do you think you could actually train somebody to do this job in twenty hours?” Governor Rick Scott asked.

“Ah, No… No,” was the response given.

Progress Florida believes there are political motivations behind the criticism. “They are going to face server criminal penalties if they violate any people’s privacy, so I really think what we are seeing here is just more politics,” says Damien Filier Progress Florida.

Experts say that the biggest fear of people violating your privacy isn’t help navigators, but people who email you or call you on the phone asking for information.

AARP says consumers need to exercise basic caution. “Do you own research because chances are the person who is calling and asking for that sensitive information is not on the up and up,” says Leslie Spencer, AARP Florida.

Training for Navigators was cut from 30 hours to 20 in an effort to get the program up and running by October.

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