TAMPA, Fla.-- Federal health officials have cut money to non-profits that help people get insurance under the Affordable Care Act.
- USF Navigators lose big chuck of funding
- Cuts could mean fewer enrollments, increase in health care costs
- Could mean possible cuts in overall program.
In the past, the University of South Florida Navigators have received as much as $5.9 million to provide that service.
This year, the entire state of Florida will get no more than $1.25 million.
"We're going back and look at our plans," said Katie Roders, Navigator Project Manager at USF. "I think being innovative and creative is going to be very important. We may be looking at virtual appointments. We may be looking outside the box to see how we can meet our consumers needs as best as possible."
The cut in funding could also mean fewer enrollments, an increase in health care costs, or possible cuts in the overall program.
"What are the people to do who don't have the resources?" asked consumer Jan Baskin, who used the navigators to help find insurance. "People need insurance."
Congresswoman Kathy Castor called the latest cuts an effort to sabotage the Affordable Care Act.
Federal health officials said the navigators were not enrolling enough people to justify the spending.
Last year, Florida led the U.S. in the number of people enrolling for a health care plan under the Affordable Care Act.
About 1.7 million Floridians signed up. The next enrollment date is November 1.