Navigators barred from Florida health departments

Affordable Care Act materials distributed only if requested

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ORLANDO, Fla. - Health officials will not allow counselors trained to help sign people up for insurance under the Affordable Care Act onto the property of county health departments across the state.

The Florida Department of Health said in a memo that local health departments can accept brochures and other outreach material about insurance under the new state exchange, but the materials will apparently only be distributed if someone asks for it.

The agency said in a statement Wednesday the counselors, also called navigators, aren't acting on behalf of the health department. Officials say there are privacy concerns about how information would be stored in the federal data hub, so they issued the directive "to provide a consistent message."

Gov. Rick Scott and Attorney General Pam Bondi have made similar statements about privacy in the exchange.

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