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More Navigators in Orlando Emergency Rooms

Photo credit: Taber Andrew Bain, via Flickr Creative Commons
Photo credit: Taber Andrew Bain, via Flickr Creative Commons

For consumers to get health insurance that starts on January 1st, they would have to buy the policy by this Monday.

Some hospitals are ramping up plans to get patients signed up for insurance-  when they come into the E.R.

Both Florida Hospital and Orlando Health are expanding a program to put health care navigators in the hospital.

Navigators are there to help people sign up for insurance.

Tom Yoesle. the chief operating officer of revenue management for Orlando Health, says there are already navigators at five Orlando Health locations.

“We’re opening up at additional locations at one of those hospitals for additional navigator space,” says Yoesle.

Yoesle made the announcement Tuesday as Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell paid a visit to Orlando to promote the Affordable Care Act.

So far, 765,000 people have signed up for health insurance in the health law’s second year.

For Florida Hospital, 55% of the people who come through the emergency room don’t have health insurance. And most can be treated outside of the ER.

Florida Hospital Senior Finance Officer Jeff Hurst says those without insurance are often sicker for it

“A lot of times, when patients don’t have appropriate access to coverage and access to care, they wait and wait and wait and wait until their clinical condition deteriorates until they have to come to the emergency room,” says Hurst.

Now, many of those without insurance qualify for subsidies to make the plans cheaper.