Hospital executives told a visiting U.S. health administrator Thursday they’re concerned that a dearth of health insurance navigators in Florida will make it challenging for people needing help obtaining coverage as mandatory insurance goes into effect for 2014.
The hospitals want leeway to hand over lists of their uninsured patients to the newly hired navigators, who are charged with helping people apply for coverage. But because that might pose health privacy issues, it’s a question still under review, said Renard Murray, regional administrator for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.
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Health exchanges to open Oct. 1:
* To create an account and find out more about subsidies and policies to be sold on the health insurance exchange, go to http://healthcare.gov
* A call center is available to take questions. Operators are available who speak 150 languages, including Creole. The number is 1-800-318-2596.
* A Spanish-language version of the health exchange is at www.cuidadodesalud.gov/
* The health insurance exchanges don’t open for business until Oct. 1, but consumer accounts can, and probably should be, created now.
* There’s a new call center for small businesses with health exchange questions. The number is 1-800-706-7893.
* Businesses with fewer than 50 full-time equivalent employees can also buy insurance at http://healthcare.gov. Tax credits are available for businesses with fewer than 25 full-time equivalents. The tax credits are worth up to half the cost of the premium.