KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

States Continue Health Exchange Enrollment Dance

In the news: a dust-up in Florida surrounding health exchange "navigators," Minnesota is adding funding for enrollment outreach efforts and Connecticut is using some new marketing approaches.    

ABC News: Florida Is Pushing Back Against Obamacare
A key part of Obamacare is set to take effect soon and some conservatives are desperate to halt its implementation. The newest pushback comes out of Florida. The state’s Department of Health will not allow outreach workers to help sign up uninsured residents for the Affordable Care Act at county facilities there. ... Not all healthcare centers will face the new restriction  (Deruy, 9/12).

Health News Florida: Compromise Allows Navigators Near Health Dept.
Pinellas County officials say the state Department of Health has agreed that Affordable Care Act enrollment advisors can operate within the same buildings as the local health department staff. And DOH staff can refer uninsured patients to the advisors, called Navigators, for help in enrolling in a health plan on the Marketplace when it opens Oct. 1 (Gentry, 9/12).

The Associated Press: Sebelius To Make Stops In Fla. For Health Care Law
The Obama Administration is dispatching its top health official to Florida three times in the coming days to promote the Affordable Care Act in a Republican-led state that has been increasingly resistant to carrying out the new federal health law. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius' visit to Orlando on Friday comes days after Florida health officials ordered county health departments across the state to ban counselors trained to help sign people up for health insurance from conducting outreach on their property (Kennedy, 9/13).

MinnPost: Health Exchange Frees Up Funds For Bypassed Outreach Groups
African-American and immigrant groups that key lawmakers say were overlooked in MNsure’s initial outreach grant program now likely will be funded with cost savings from elsewhere in the exchange. The board of Minnesota’s health insurance exchange on Wednesday authorized up to $750,000 in new outreach funds to organizations that didn’t make the initial recipient list (Nord, 9/12).

Kaiser Health News: Capsules: Insurance Exchange Outreach In Connecticut Goes Far Afield
Across Connecticut, you can see billboards and television ads, hear radio spots and get pamphlets, all about how to get insurance under the new federal health law starting Oct. 1. But the state also is spending big bucks on less traditional ways to get the word out (Cohen, 9/12).

In addition, the White House launches another, targeted enrollment campaign -

Kaiser Health News: Capsules: Campaign To Enroll LBGT Community In Health Coverage Launched At White House
The Obama administration and community advocates touted the effort to reach out to those communities about new online health insurance marketplaces, where people can compare insurance plans and find out if they're eligible for government subsidies. The marketplaces open for enrollment Oct. 1, and will sell policies that take effect beginning Jan. 1 (Rao, 9/13).

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