Jodi Ray takes health coverage message to Capitol Hill

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Jodi Ray, Florida Covering Kids & Families project director, participated on a congressional panel hosted by the Alliance for Health Reform and the Kaiser Family Foundation on Aug. 6. The discussion was carried live on CSPAN2.


Florida Covering Kids & Families is a program of the USF College of Public Health’s Lawton and Rhea Chiles Center for Healthy Mothers and Babies under the Department of Community and Family Health.

Held at the Dirksen Senate Office Building in Washington, D.C., the panel discussion addressed the topic of navigators and other in-person assisters under the Affordable Care Act, provided a snapshot of in-person assistance programs that help consumers enroll in health coverage through the new Health Insurance Marketplace and explored the impact of these programs on 2014 enrollment and what the future may hold for them.

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Following a “101” overview of navigators, assisters, brokers and others who provide in-person assistance, Kaiser Family Foundation senior fellow Karen Pollitz presented findings from a recent KFF report and focus group study that looked at these programs in several states.

Ray spoke as a representative of the programs running at ground level and as a navigator from a federally-facilitated marketplace state to highlight the work of the Navigator program in Florida, including lessons learned and best practices for in-person consumer assistance programs. She also answered attendees’ questions on the keys to future success of in-person assisters, policy changes, and what the second round of open enrollment will look like with the Health Insurance Marketplace.

Further information and background on the other speakers can be found at the Alliance for Health Reform’s website.

Story by Lindsay Kuznia and David Brothers, USF College of Public Health