Florida Department of Health bars "navigators' from helping people at health departments

The Florida Department of Health has barred outreach workers known as "navigators" from trying to help people sign up for federally subsidized health insurance while at county health departments, Health News Florida reported.

The navigators are part of carrying out the federal Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare, which Florida Republican leaders have resisted for more than three years.

Health News Florida reported that C. Meade Grigg, the Department of Health's deputy secretary for statewide services, sent an order late Monday to 60 local health-department directors.

Grigg said staff may accept informational materials from the navigators to hand out upon request. "However, Navigators will not conduct activities on the grounds of the health departments," Grigg wrote, according to Health News Florida.

Navigators are supposed to help people shop for coverage in health-insurance exchanges, which are designed to act as online marketplaces.

Florida Republican leaders also refused to run an exchange, which will lead to the federal government operating an exchange for the state.

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