Earlier this month, First Lady Michelle Obama visited the Health Council of South Florida (HCSF), one of Community Catalyst’s advocate partners that is helping uninsured Floridians enroll in needed coverage. The Department of Health and Human Services asked HCSF  to host the Mrs. Obama’s visit because of the important role it has played in creating and fostering partnerships to maximize enrollment in Miami.

During Mrs. Obama’s visit, she met with HCSF President and CEO, Marisel Losa, along with one of the Council’s certified application counselors, Allan Zulliger. Marisel and Allan participated in a roundtable discussion with the First Lady in which they shared their day-to-day experiences assisting and enrolling South Floridians. Allan also shared his personal story of enrolling in the Marketplace. After experiencing an unanticipated injury, Allan realized he was not “invincible.” This realization motivated him to enroll in a Marketplace plan so he could ensure he would have coverage for these types of events. Allan was so inspired by his experience that he applied to be a Certified Application Counselor and joined HCSF to actively encourage and assist South Floridians with reviewing their options and enrolling in the Marketplace. 

While the job for Navigators and political climate surrounding the ACA can be challenging, HCSF has been making strides educating and assisting consumers as they obtain health coverage. In fact, the HCSF was highlighted as a national best practice by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services during its Conference Call for Enrollment Assisters and Champions for Coverage. Congratulations to the Health Council of South Florida for its significant achievements in ACA outreach and enrollment, and for hosting a great event with the First Lady! You can see photos from Mrs. Obama’s day in Miami on WhiteHouse.gov.

— Rachelle Rubinow, Intern