MIAMI (AP) — The Florida Department of Health has issued a memo telling county health departments to keep Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) navigators out of their offices.
Local health departments can accept public exchange brochures and other exchange outreach material, but they can distribute the materials only if consumers ask for information.
Agency officials said they sent the memo earlier this week to provide clarity for local departments about the exchange navigators because the navigators aren’t acting on behalf of the state.
PPACA calls for the new public exchange system to open Oct. 1.
“This program has raised privacy concerns due to the consumer information that will be gathered for use in a federal database,” the agency said in a statement Wednesday. “In light of this uncertainty and as an integrated Department of Health we sought to provide a consistent message across each county in Florida.”
Gov. Rick Scott, R, and Attorney General Pam Bondi have expressed similar concerns about privacy recently, joining other Republicans around the country who have been critical of PPACA,
Bondi is among attorneys general in 13 states who sent a letter to Sebelius last month questioning whether there will be enough protection of consumer data in the navigator program, saying the agency’s current guidelines “suffer numerous deficiencies.”